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Beyond Plymouth Rock 

America's Hometown in the 20th Century 


In the summer of 2000, Mike Tenney of Diixbury flies his World War Il-era biplane over the outer end of Plymouth Long Beach. 

Beyond Plymouth Rock 

America Hometown in the 20th Century 


John Chaffee , Managing Editor 
Wesley Ennis, Photography Editor 
Karin Goldstein, Historian and Researcher 
Sharon LaRosa, Librarian and Editor 
Beverly Ness, Library Associate and Researcher 
Lee Regan, Librarian and Researcher 

Layout and design by Kathleen Branigan 

The Plymouth Public Library Corp., Plymouth, MA 

Volume II: A Welcoming Place 
Copyright © 2010 by the Plymouth Public Library Corp. 

ISBN 978-0-9725513-1-1 

Published by the Plymouth Public Library Corp. 
132 South St., Plymouth, MA 02360 

Library of Congress Catalog Card Number: 2010932956 

Volume I: Ties That Bind 
Copyright © 2002 by the Plymouth Public Library Corp. 
ISBN 0-9725513-0-1 
Library of Congress Control Number: 2002 1 1 7006 

For customer service and orders call: (508) 830-4250 
E-mail sales: 
Visit us on the Internet at 


Foreword - Dinah O'Brien 


rKbrA(_t — 1 nb CUIIUKIAL 1 cAM 


We had the land - Mikki Chaffee 

Why the population of Plymouth increased 78 percent between 1970 and 1980. 


A Mayflower returns - Carl Jayko 


On a June morning in 1957 a British-made replica of the Mayflower sailed into 

Plymouth Harbor after a 55-day voyage across the Atlantic Ocean. 

Plymouth neighborhoods - Tom Bartlett 


From North Plymouth to Cedarville, personal memories of a variety of Plymouth 


'Cozy' Barrett's own story - George Hanlon 


For more than 25 years in mid-century William H. 'Cozy' Barrett dominated local 


World War II memories - Zachary W. Ennis 

How some Plymouth residents responded, both at home and overseas, to the 
Dec. 7, 1941 sneak attack on Pearl Harbor. 


Urban renewal in downtown Plymouth - Karin Goldstein 41 

In the 1960s more than 100 buildings in a 30-acre downtown neighborhood were 
demolished, bringing about the most dramatic change to Plymouth's townscape 
in its more than 300-year history. 

Nuclear power in Plymouth - Robert Knox 57 

At first, the town embraced the construction of a nuclear power plant, but by 

the end of the century a number of uncertainties, even outright opposition, emerged. 

Health care in 20th century Plymouth - John Moran 65 

A retired surgeon takes an in-depth look at the practice of medicine over the century. 

Economic pains and gains - Edward W. Santos and Michael A. Gallerani 


How the Plymouth economy survived the midcentury closing of the world's largest 


Plymouth churches 


Late 20th century views of some houses of worship in Plymouth. 

Blacks in Plymouth - Peter Gomes 


The story of blacks in 20th century Plymouth is known to but a few. 

Drug stores and pharmacies - John Chaffee and John Moran 


From mortar and pestle to computers. 

Pilgrims come alive - Carolyn Freeman Travers 


An insider's look at the development of a major tourist attraction, Plimoth Plantation. 

A legendary scoundrel - BoBBi Clark 


Even a quarter century after his death many in Plymouth had vivid memories 

of politician 'Cozy' Barrett. 

Classical music for Plymouth - Robert Knox 


From an amateur to full-fledged professional ensemble, the Plymouth Philharmonic 

Orchestra has been making beautiful music since its early 20th century origins. 

Local news with heart and soul - Mark Johnston 


Two men, so different, contributed significantly to the survival and success of 

The Old Colony Memorial. 



Schools SMALL AND LARGE 113 

Plymouth had 26 public schools in 1900, but only 13 by the end of the century. 

Flying high over Plymouth - Bernard Barufaldi 117 

From a West Plymouth apple orchard to a World War II training field, Plymouth's 
municipal airport grew to a 755-acre general aviation facility. 

Lest we forget ... - compiled by John Chaffee 123 

Recollections of life and events in 20th century Plymouth. 

Plymouth mail robbery - Gail Sullivan Begley 133 

The dramatic, still unsolved story of the armed robbery of a U.S. mail truck on 
Route 3 in 1962. 

Movies in Plymouth 135 

For many years during the 20th century, going to the movies was a favorite 
form of entertainment. 

First lady - Alba Thompson 1 37 

Fiow the town came to elect its first woman selectman. 

'Blue Colonial' - David Roderick 139 

A poem about Plymouth by an award-winning native. 

Rolling Thunder Revue - Karin Goldstein 140 

In the fall of the nation's bicentennial, folksinger Bob Dylan and friends 
performed at Memorial Fiall. 

The greening of Plymouth - Ryan Wood 143 

During the last quarter of the 20th century Plymouth became a haven for golfers. 



Wampanoac mourning - John Chaffee 

Native Americans founded the National Day of Mourning in Plymouth. 


How Plymouth voted 

Presidential election results, 1900-2000. 


Libraries north and south - Sharon LaRosa 

Plymouth's first public library building opened on North Street in 1902. 
Almost 90 years later a new library building opened - on South Street. 


Sources consulted 



Authors and contributors 


Others who helped 




A public library is a composite of local history 

- past, present and future. It's a collection of 
materials for use by the community that reflects, at 
any given time, diverse community interests. As the 
author Norman Cousins once said, "A library . . . 
should be the delivery room for the birth of ideas 

- a place where history comes to life." I believe 
it is one of the major responsibilities of a public 

Dinali O'Brien library to select, acquire and maintain as much of 

a community's individual and collective memory 
as possible. A commitment to the accurate preservation of a community's 
history, horse thieves and all, provides a foundation for future research, 
decision-making and growth. 

In this spirit, the Plymouth Public Library Corp. in 1999 embarked on 
what became a 10-year saga to collect and publish a variety of memories 
of 20th century Plymouth. The first volume of Beyond Plymouth Rock: 
Ties That Bind was published in 2002. This second volume, subtitled A 
Welcoming Place, completes the project, but not the story. As Plymouth 
native the Rev. Peter Gomes once observed, America's hometown is very 
much like a Pilgrim - constantly moving to an as yet unachieved destination. 

I have had the good fortune to be the director of the Plymouth Public 
Library, a role fulfilled by many predecessors who became legendary for their 
knowledge and loyalty to the community. All were aware that Plymouth's 
history did not stop in 1692 when the original colony was absorbed by that of 

Massachusetts Bay. Indeed, it continues to this day. It is this shared vision of 
our library as an active member of the community, participating in the great 
and ordinary of daily life, that has made this project come to fruition. 

A public library is made up of people - community members who 
determine the direction of library services and a library staff that determines 
the quality of those services. The Plymouth Public Library is blessed with 
an outstanding staff, many of whom participated in this project. Compilation 
of these two volumes of local history would not have been possible without 
the assistance of many volunteers who devoted untold unpaid hours to 
research and writing much of what appears within. Library trustees have 
been supportive throughout, patiently waiting for the work to progress and 
providing the financial wherewithal to publish. 

Because the compilation of 100 years of local history can be a 
considerable challenge, I encourage the mission to continue. Current 
and future members of the community should begin to take notes now. 
Record the oral histories of your parents and grandparents, teachers and 
local government leaders. You never know when recording the mundane 
adventures of a cat up a tree could lead to the felling of that tree, which leads 
to a vacant piece of buildable land, which leads to a new shopping mall 
replacing the spot where you skated as a youth. So record local history. It will 
determine our future. 

Dinah O'Brien, Director 
Plymouth Public Library 


Corrections and Changes to 
Volume I • Ties That Bind 

Page ii 

Line ~ "Libran' of Congress Catalog Card Number Pending" should 
read "Librar}' of Congress Control Number 20021 17006" 

Line 9 '\'isit us on the Internet at www.gis.netZ-ppl" should read 
'\'isit us on the Internet at \v\" 

Table of Contents 

Page vii. Chapter 42 "J^rry L. Rezendes" should read 

"Jesse L. Rezendes" 

Chapter 1 
Paae 8., line 29 

"Norseman" should read "Norsemen' 

Chapter 32 

Page 104, col. 3, Line 9 "...because that are" should read 

"because they are" 

Page 105, col. 1, Line 5 "magnanimous in him" should read 

"magnanimous of him ' 

Chapter 42 

Page 136, col. 2, Line 



Page 163, col. 3 
Page 164, col. 4 

Page 166, col. 1 

" — ^Jerry L. Rezendes" should read 
' — ^Jesse L. Rezendes" 

Add "Duryea, M. J. 96" after 
"Downey, Michael" 

Add "Martinelli, Alba 53" after 
"Markus, Myer and Bessie" 

Add "Martinelli, Cleofa 53" after 
"Martinelli, Bruno" 

Add "Martinelli, Horace 53" after 
"Martinelli, Elisa" 

"Rezendes, Jerry L. 1 18, 136 should read 
"Rezendes, Jerry 118" 

Add "Rezendes, Jesse L. 136" after 
"Rezendes, Jerry" 


This is the second of two volumes containing a collection of memories 
of 20th century Plymouth. Under the aegis of the Plymouth Public Library 
Corp. we began this project 10 years ago. The first volume of Beyond 
Plymouth Rock, subtitled Ties That Bind, was published in 2002. Its focus 
was the transformation of a predominantly Yankee town into a diverse 
community that by World War II had peacefully integrated many hundreds of 
immigrants, primarily from Germany, Italy and Portugal. 

This follow-up volume, subtitled A Welcoming Place, has taken longer to 
compile, primarily because of the complexity of telling how the town grew 
from less than 10,000 residents in 1900 to more than 50,000 by the end of the 
century. Almost all the growth took place during the second half of the century, 
most of it during the last 25 years. As local Attorney Richard Serkey noted, 
the town almost always welcomed newcomers, including him and his family. 
Throughout the century Plymouth indeed proved to be a welcoming place. 

As was the first volume, this is a popular rather than pedantic history, 
told as much as possible by people who lived it. For readability we adopted 
the Associated Press style manual and have appended an extensive list of 
references rather than interrupt the text with footnotes. Once again, Kathleen 
Branigan has provided a design and layout appropriate to the period. 

Unfortunately we were able to include only a fraction of the material we 
collected. There is more than enough left over for at least another volume, 
but that we will leave to others. We apologize to those whose memories we 
were unable to include. 

The 20th was a memorable century, but the 21st promises even more 
changes to the Plymouth population and landscape, a story we hope will be 
told many years from now by our successors. 

- The Editorial Team: John Chaffee, Wesley Ennis, 
Karin Goldstein, Sharon LaRosa, Beverly Ness and Lee Regan 

Beyond Plymouth Rock 

America's Hometown in the 20lh Cenlury 



This book is dedicated to 
Lee Regan 
sine qua non 

'We had the land^ 

Mikk'i Chaffee 

In the 10 years between 1970 and 1980, the 

population of Plymouth increased nearly 78 

percent -from 18,615 to 33,060 inhabitants. Why 

the sudden explosion of people? 

Many of those who remember what happened 

said it was because of low property taxes after the 

Pilgrim nuclear power plant began contributing 

to local revenues beginning in 1971 . Others cited 

easier commuting as a new Route 3 bypassed 

downtown Plymouth and provided a high-speed 

highway all the way from Quincy to the Cape Cod 

Canal. Then there was an exodus of families from 

Boston as a result of the controversial integration 

of city schools beginning in 1969. 

But the most important reason, said Richard 

"Dick" Manfredi, the man who issued most of the 

building permits for new houses, was the enormous 

amount of available land 

in Plymouth. With 103 

square miles of land, 

it is geographically the 

largest municipality in 


Other factors 

contributed to the growth, 

^ , . , , Manfredi agreed, but the 
Dick Manfredi, who , , ■ 

, , overwhelmmg reason, he 
issued many building 

permits for new said, was, "We had the 

construction. land." 

A Plymouth native, Manfredi began his 
career in town government in 1973 as zoning 
field inspector, then as zoning agent. In 1978 he 
was named the town's building inspector and 
later, as his department expanded, he became 
director of inspectional services. Manfredi issued 
many of the building permits required for new 

Even during the early 20th century, there was 
land speculation in Plymouth. 

Investors saw 18-plus miles of ocean and 
bay coastline, and 300 or more ponds, rivers 
and streams. Summer home communities were 

Even during the early 20th 
century^ there was land 
speculation in Plymouth. 

built and the "cottages" bought by families from 
Boston and its suburbs. Many of these were later 
updated and became year-round retirement or 
starter homes. 

Lorraine Antoniotti and her husband, Richard, 
were life-long residents. While Richard's 
grandparents were born in Italy, Lorraine was a 
13th generation Pilgrim descendant. They agreed 
that low property taxes as well as the desire 

to escape the school busing in Boston brought 
many new resident families. She remembers 
crowded school meetings and jokes about "native 
Plymoutheans, an endangered species". 

But in later years, she said, her friends and 
neighbors realized that those families who moved 
to Plymouth during the 1970s and 1980s stayed, 
became active in town government, school 
associations and other organizations and brought 
prosperity not seen since the Plymouth Cordage 
Co. had to close its doors in the 1960s. She said 
that another benefit brought by the increased 
population was the expansion of Jordan Hospital, 
bringing new doctors and medical specialists to 
the town. 

Growing up in Plymouth, Elspeth (Agnew) 
Franks was aware that Plymouth was a small 
town— maybe about 12,000 people— but 
remembered that the population seemed to 
explode each June when the "city" people came to 
their summer homes at Long Pond, Rocky Point 
and Warren Avenue. 

While attending local schools, she was troubled 
by what seemed to be "issues" between "haves" 
and "have nots" with the latter living in the north 
section of town and the "haves" south of the town 

But later, as an adult, she was happy to observe 
that as the population of the town grew, the social 



According to federal census figures, the population of Plymouth grew from 2,995 in 1 790 to 5 1 ,701 in the year 2000. The growth 
came in spurts - 3 1 percent from 1 890 to 1 900 , for example , and nearly 78 percent from 1 970 to 1 980 . During the 20th century, 
Plymouth grew from 9.592 residents in 1900 to more than 51 ,000 in 2000. Following are the census figures at 10-year intervals and 
the f>ercentage of growth or decline from one census to the next. 



Percent +/- 





+ 17.7 












+ 11.0 



+ 14.1 









+ 13.7 




































+ 13.4 


Census Date 


fabric did not remain so geographically divided 
and people were more welcome no matter where 
in town they lived. As local attorney Richard 
Serkey observed, Plymouth became a "welcoming 

In the 1950s and 1960s as the commuting 
habits of millions of people throughout the 
country changed, nearby towns like Scituate and 
Marshfield began to fill up. The further extension 
of a new Route 3 to Cape Cod made it possible 
for Plymouth to change from a semi-rural and 
somewhat isolated seacoast community to a 
growing suburb of commuters, local entrepreneurs 
and craftsmen. 

Elliott Chassey, who moved to Plymouth in 
the late 1960s to become mortgage officer at 
the Plymouth Five Cents Saving Bank, initially 
handled only a portfolio of small loans as 
residents struggled to recover from the closing of 
the cordage company. There was little appetite for 
new mortgages so eventually the bank began to 
look for customers in other towns. In Plymouth 
there was as yet no new growth, no malls, no 
industrial park. 

Then as the towns west and north of Boston 
filled up, developers looked south for less 
expensive land and soon in Plymouth "real estate 
became the economy," recalled Chassey. 

Old Colony Estates off Route 44 in west 
Plymouth - one of the first large subdivisions - 
was a project of the South Boston Savings Bank. 
In the mid 1950s several hundred acres owned by 
Ovila Parker attracted developers. Lots became 
available at $750 each and local builders like Bruce 
Allen constructed small houses and made a good 
profit selling them for an affordable $15,900. 

Allen went on to buy house lots from Bob 
Bowler whose land was the original Richard 
Sparrow Hill farm, possibly a 150-acre grant from 
the king of England. According to Allen, Bowler 
was a gentleman farmer who raised purebred 
Ayrshire cattle. 

Allen and his brother Robert built 600-800 
homes all over the South Shore and near the turn 
of the 21st century, Bruce Allen was still active. 
By the 1980s, the original Allen-built houses were 
reselling for more than $100,000. 

In the 1960s new subdivisions began to be 
developed south of town, first off of Sandwich 

Plymouth became a 
^welcoming place/ 

Street at Dwight and Sunrise avenues to Eel 
River Circle and then farther south to Long 
Pond and Gunner's Exchange roads and then to 
Plymouth Estates, whose street names included 
Independence and Constitution. Eventually the 
growth continued south all the way to Bourne. 

Architect David Crawley left his mark on 
Plymouth beginning in 1955 designing schools, 
homes, motels, business and manufacturing 
buildings. Many young architects came to 
Plymouth to take advantage of the building boom 
and several of them gained experience working at 
David Crawley Associates. 

Crawley was also a member of the town's 
planning board for 17 years beginning in 1955. 
He remembers that Plymouth's 1951 zoning 
bylaw had two districts — residential and 

commercial. It almost appeared, said Crawley, 
that when it was written, the zone was designated 
commercial where there were stores or businesses 
and the rest was residential. 

According to the July 5, 1951 , minutes of the 
planning board, the residential district allowed 
homes for one or more families, apartment 
houses, municipal uses and farming. Home 
occupations could include roadside stands, trailer 
camps, restaurants, kennels, theaters and bowling 
alleys. Lots had to have 60 feet of frontage and a 
minimum area of 6,000 square feet. 

In 1956 there were still only two zoning 
districts, but amendments stated that an airport, a 
riding stable, a gravel and loam operation and a 
restaurant would require zoning board of appeals 
approval. By 1961 bylaw revisions called for 
eight zoning districts and by 1999 the bylaws had 
expanded to more than 250 pages. 

In the late 1960s, town meeting voted to hire 
an outside planning consultant to take a hard look 
at Plymouth's zoning and planning. The study 
helped the town recognize that because most 
of the growth had taken place around several 
population clusters, a zoning and planning 
concept that focused on "village centers" was 
appropriate. The recommendations included a 
new zoning bylaw that provided for commercial 
uses and higher residential densities at the village 
centers circling out to require lower densities 
for outlying residential parcels and to allow and 
encourage such other uses as recreation. The five 
village centers were North Plymouth, Downtown, 
Manomet, Cedarville and West Plymouth. By the 
end of the 20th century, the 1972 zoning bylaw 
had been amended many times, but it continued to 


include the village center concept and there was 
widespread agreement that it had helped preserve 
the rural character of much of the town. 

In addition to zoning bylaw changes, the 
consultant also recommended that the planning 
board hire a trained professional to help with the 
enormous demands of a rapidly developing town. 
.After interview ing a number of candidates for the 
new position, the board hired a young architect 
named Ray Frieden who became Plymouth's first 
town planner. 

Frieden had been working at an architectural 
firm, but he felt unchallenged and somewhat 
bored w ith the work. Immediately prior to that 
position, he and his wife Nancy had been Peace 
Corps volunteers in the Middle East where they 
were both called upon to use every skill they had 
and some new ones they had to learn. 

Nancy Frieden accompanied her husband to 
the planning board interview and. when chairman 
David Crawley invited him into the meeting, she 
went too. Crawley politely suggested that she 
might like to wait outside, but Nancy demurred. 
"I would like to be there to hear that Plymouth's 
needs are important and challenging so that Ray's 
talents will not be wasted," she said. 

The Friedens were satisfied and so was the 
planning board. Ray was asked to begin his new 
job as soon as possible, pending town meeting 
approval of the position and the salary. Town 
meeting was two weeks later and Ray tensely 
awaited the outcome; town meeting approved and 
he went to work. 

The town needed dedicated and smart 
leadership during this period of exploding growth 
and Frieden remembered some of those leaders. 


He said that planning board 
chairman Louis Cotti, who 
had replaced Crawley, 
was well-educated and 
also very street smart. 
Town Moderator Reubin 
Winokur. he recalled, was 
an excellent mediator, as 
wise as any "big city" 
lawyer and "sharp as a 
tack." Richard Dudman, 
the town's first executive 
secretary, Frieden 
said, had excellent 
professional managing 
skills - he insisted 
on good systems and 
organization, which 
did not endear him 
to many at town hall 
who were used to less 

Selectman Ken 
Tavares said Frieden 
had a "broad vision 
of what the town 
could be." Another 
town moderator. 

"^^''''f^R experience 



Of THE Best <?, 

^"Py ShMlo^ P '1'"'^'*'°"'" Now EnZ. T'''''''' ^re transported r 


An early 1980s 
for homes in a 
new Plymouth 

^■''0' exclusive end. 



country se((,n.; 

ve of 

Earl Rose, at one memorable town meeting 
stepped down from presiding and pleaded to be 
allowed to pay the back taxes on the property of 
the closed down Priscilla Beach Theater. We need 
the theater back, said Rose. He won the vote. 

Frieden also remembered a town meeting when 
Fire Chief Arthur Lamb, needing more and bigger 
fire trucks, asked for money to reinforce the floors 
at the antiquated Main Street central station. Ray 
spoke against it, reminding town meeting that 
even then the station was inadequate and that a 
larger more modern central station must be built. 
Soon came the new central station on Sandwich 
Street. The old downtown fire station continued 
to be owned by the town and was converted into 
a restaurant, first known as Station One and later 
Sam Diego's. 

Plymouth's operating and capital budgets grew 

...more families meant more 
children and that meant the 
town needed new schools. 

and grew. Town meeting scrutinized those budgets 
but knew there were few choices except to pass 
them. The roads that led to new subdivisions 
soon proved to be inadequate. Repairs to existing 
roads, paving many gravel roads, additional town 
wells to supply new water hookups were all 
necessary additions to the infrastructure and, at 
first, were affordable. 

At the same time, more families meant more 
children and that meant the town needed new 
schools. Elementary schools came first: Manomet, 

West, Federal Furnace, 
Indian Brook and South 
joined the much older 
Hedge, Cold Spring, 
Mount Pleasant and 
Nathaniel Morton 
schools. More children 
came and others grew 
older and so Plymouth 
built a middle school, 
an additional high 

As school coniniirtee 
chairman, Adele Manfredi 
found the need for 
additional classrooms an 
ongoinfi challenge. 

school and, by the end 
of the century, still 
another middle school. 
And, of course, money 
had to be provided for 

more teachers, principals, coordinators, guidance 
counselors, cafeteria staff, custodians and support 

School budgets were often the focus of 
controversy during those years. Adele Manfredi, 
a member of the school committee for 1 5 years 
and chair for 1 3 said the need for space was 
an ongoing challenge. She recalled that school 
superintendent Bernard Sidman spent many 
hours planning and organizing the redistricting 
of students from one school to another almost 
every year while awaiting the construction of new 

As a result of meeting ongoing needs for new 
schools and school staff, Plymouth property taxes 
were no longer among the lowest in the state. 

In addition to providing adequate facilities, 
another major challenge, said Manfredi, was 
trying to maintain the quality and consistency of 
educational programs and curriculum in all of the 

schools in the town. As chair of the elected school 
committee, she said, she tried to keep a focus on 
policy, practice and curriculum while dealing with 
nearly overwhelming and often contentious space 
needs problems. 

In 1983 when Ray Frieden resigned. Jack 
Lenox took over as planning director. When he 
was considering the position, Lenox said he drove 
around the entire town, marveling at its size and 
new housing developments but also noted the 
acres and acres of undeveloped land. Lenox said 
he initially planned to work for the town for only 
a few years, but remained for 19. 

Continuing growth led to changes in local 
government. In 1991 a charter amendment 
changed the job description and responsibilities 
of executive secretary Bill Griffin, who became 
Plymouth's first town manager. Another charter 
amendment consolidated several town boards and 
departments under a new department of planning 
and development. Lenox became director of that 
department. At the same time, Dick Manfredi 
became director of a consolidated department of 
inspectional services. 

In other parts of the country where the rate of 
growth was also becoming alarming, a new kind 
of zoning, known as planned unit development 
(PUD), was being used to provide less sprawl, 
more open space and smaller networks of streets 
and utilities in new subdivisions. Plymouth added 
a section on PUDs to its growing list of zoning 

During the middle of the century several 
parcels of undeveloped land in the geographic 
center of the town known as the Pine Hills were 
being assembled until they totaled approximately 


3.000 rural acres. The owner, John Talcott, 
e\ entually offered it to the town for about $7 
million, but Town Meeting in 1974 said no— too 
expensive, not affordable. 

In 1981 Talcott sold the land to the Digital 
Equipment Corp. for approximately $1 1 million. 
The then-booming technology company planned 
to locate its international headquarters, research 

In the year 2000, Plymouth 
still had the land! 

and development department, and manufacturing 
on a large portion of the land. 

To provide appropriate zoning, a new type 
of PUD was added to the zoning bylaw. The 
rural residential high technology planned unit 
development required a minimum of 250 acres. 
It also required a zoning master plan known 
as an open space mixed use development plan 

Although many questions were raised about 
such a bold change in the use of the very rural, 
mostly untouched land, there was widespread 
agreement that the town's economy would 
improve with the promise of new high technology 
and manufacturing jobs. 

But the high-tech boom began to sputter mostly 
because of the enormous competition for ever 
more complex technology. Digital abandoned its 
plans and put the property on the market. 

In May 1994 Plymouth resident Tom Wallace 
signed an agreement to buy the land. After 
seven months of due diligence, Wallace began 


the permit process for a residential OSMUD. 
Three town meeting votes turned down plans 
that were reworked from meeting to meeting. 
Working with the development team, the planning 
department, several citizen study committees and 
many public hearings finally resulted in a plan 
that included golf courses, upscale residences 
and small businesses. Wallace and two additional 
development partners, having spent $500,000 
in professional fees for many changes to their 
plans, were able to proceed. The result was The 
Pinehills, a large development of golf courses and 
high-end housing. 

Lee Hartmann, who had become assistant town 
planner under Lenox in 1987, became director of 
planning in 1991 . Hartmann knew that to avoid 
acrimonious relationships and even legal action. 

the planning department and the planning board 
had to work with developers to find solutions that 
would balance private property rights with the 
public good. After hard work and many, many 
meetings, consensus was often reached for the 
good of the town. 

In 1950 Plymouth's population was 13,608. 
Fifty years later - at 5 1 ,70 1 - it had nearly 
quadrupled, but the town still had a lot of 
undeveloped land. When the boom began, 
41 ,000 acres of privately owned undeveloped 
land brought developers, buildings and people 
to Plymouth. Despite enormous growth, only 
about 16,000 of those acres had been developed 
by the end of the 20th century. In the year 2000, 
Plymouth still had the land! 

A Mayflower returns 

Carl Jayko 

Mayflower II, a British-built replica of the 
ship that brought the Pilgrims to Plymouth in 
1620, arrived in Plymouth harbor to a rousing 
welcome on a June morning in 1957. The ship 
had been built and sailed across the Atlantic, amid 
great fanfare, to augment and enhance Plimoth 
Plantation's efforts to recreate as closely as 
possible the full Pilgrim experience — from sailing 
across an ocean to living in a newly built 1 7th 
century village. 

There really was no Mayflower I. It was just 
May-Flower and even that wasn't recorded until 
1623. Mayflower was quite a common name for 
ships of that era and a number of namesake ships 
from the late 16th century have been recorded 
down through the years. Christopher Jones of 
Rotherhithe-on-the-Thames commanded the 
May-Flower from 1606 to 1621 . Over her service 
life, she hauled everything from herring, Spanish 
salt and hops, to pewter, taffeta and sawn timber 
or lumber. It was very late in her life that she 
transported people, the Pilgrims in 1620. 

The ocean crossing took 66 days. Sailing from 
the North Atlantic, the mouth of the Hudson River 
- their destination - was to the south. She made 
first landfall near what became Truro's Highland 
Light on Cape Cod. Disease was breaking out 
among the passengers and fresh water was all 
but exhausted. Master Jones needed to put the 


Mayflower II on her way across Cape Cod Bay from 
Provincetown to Plymouth in June 1957. On arrival 
in Plymouth, the replica of the ship that brought the 
Pilgrims to a New World received a rousing welcome 

Pilgrims ashore as soon as possible for their 
welfare. But efforts to sail south around the elbow 
of the Cape proved futile. Jones turned back to the 
north knowing he could not deliver his passengers 
safely to the Hudson River nor arrive there to get 
fresh water in a timely manner. He headed back to 
a safe harbor in what became Provincetown and 
"the rest is history." 

After landing the Pilgrims in Plymouth in 
December 1620, May-Flower returned to England 
in April, 1621 . Later that year she had hauled her 
last cargo, a load of salt from France in October. 
Christopher Jones died only a few months later. 
He did not leave a will. In May 1624 the High 
Court of the Admiralty appointed four marine 
surveyors to evaluate the worth of the ship for 
settlement purposes. It came to 228 pounds for a 
ship valued at 800 pounds in 1609. The ship was 

Plimoth Plantation was incorporated in 1947. 
A replica village by itself was inadequate to 
completely tell the story of the Pilgrim's journey 
to the New World. The Mayflower was an 
essential part of the tale to be told. The governors 
of the Plantation observed that paintings from the 
period and the finest ship models of the current 
age could never convey to the public the visceral 
impact afforded by a full-sized Mayflower. 
There simply is no substitute for standing on 



The vision of building a replica of the original Mayflower originated during World War II. 
Warwick Charlton, an English journalist, while serving during the war with the British Army, read a 
copy of William Bradford's journal, "Of Plimoth Plantation." 

"I read it through he recalled many years later. "I was deeply impressed with the character of the 
Pilgrims and what they did in America. The thought came to me: 'What a wonderful thing it would 
be if a new Mayflower could be built by the people of England and be sailed over to be given to the 
people of America.'" 

After the war, Charlton pursued his dream and found a few financial backers and selected a 
shipbuilder. Meanwhile, on the other side of the Atlantic, Plimoth Plantation officials also planned to 
build a Mayflower replica. William A. Baker, a ship architect, had already drawn up a plan. 

The two sides got together and agreed that Baker's plans would be used to build the ship in 
England and after it had been sailed across the Atlantic it would be given to Plimoth Plantation for 
permanent exhibit. 

In 1957 Charlton's wartime dreams became a reality when Mayflower II sailed across the ocean 
and docked at State Pier in Plymouth, Mass. 

Mayflower's deck, looking upward along the 
mainmast and realizing that one certainly wouldn't 
want to be caught up there on a good day, never 
mind in a howling storm with 10 -foot seas! 

In 1 95 1 . the governors of Plimoth Plantation 
requested William A. Baker, a respected naval 
architect, to prepare plans for the construction of 
Mayflower II, a replica of the original. There were 
no historic design-documents to guide Baker in 
his effort to reconstruct the May-Flower. In the 
1 7th centun. ship designs were laid out primarily 
\\ ith a straightedge and a compass. Most ships 
w ere common merchant vessels where cargo 

Percy Upham, father of shipbuilder Stuart Uphani, 
at the family shipyard in Brixham, England, during 
construction of Mayflower II in 1956. 


space was a principal component in the design. 
This gave rise to the short, beamy [wide], deep 
hull designs of that age. 

The resulting "negotiated" dimensions for 
the Mayflower II were a keel length of 58 feet, a 
beam (width) of 25 feet, and a depth of 12 feet, 6 
inches; for a cargo capacity of 181 tons - not far 
off from Gov. William Bradford's journal entry of 
"about nine score" tons. 

Some design alterations were included in 
Mayflower II that did not exist in the May-Flower. 
Since people were taller in the 20th century than 
they had been three centuries earlier, the "tween 
deck" clearance was increased from four feet to 
six. While this misrepresented the spaciousness 
(or rather, the lack of it) experienced by visitors 

to Mayflower II, it was deemed a good tradeoff 
between historical accuracy and scores of 
visitors with bumped noggins. The decks were 
reinforced compared to the May-Flower in order 
to withstand the stresses and wear-and-tear of 
thousands of visitors tramping on them. 

The English oak keel for Mayflower II was 
laid on July 28, 1955, at the Upham Shipyard in 
Brixham, England. By April of the following year, 
the framing of the upper deck was completed. 
She was launched at 8 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 22, 
1956, amid a rare and spectacular thunderstorm. 
Oddly, such storms were considered an omen of 
good luck and Mayflower II cashed in on her first 
installment as she slid down the ways. Pulled 
into the channel by a tugboat, the ship took an 

immediate 15- to 20-degree list to starboard. It 
looked as if she would roll over and sink then and 
there. But the tugboat captain saved the day. He 
was able to keep the ship upright and dampen the 
wild swings of the hull. It would take another 50 
tons of ballast to float the vessel properly. 

By Christmas 1956, the upper deck structures 
were complete, the superstructure finished and 
the foremast set in place. Most structural timbers 
were hewn from solid trees and fastened with 
dry oak treenails, long wooden pins pronounced 
"trunnel." The masts and yardarms were Canadian 
and Oregon pine. Sailcloth was flax canvas by 
Francis Webster of Arbroath in Scotland. (The 
name Webster means weaver, "maker of webs.") 

However, this was 1956, not 1620. Maritime 
regulations related to ship safety just weren't 
the same. Considerable negotiations classified 

May/lower II at the JJphain Shipyard after being launched 
September 1956. 

Mayflower II as a "yacht." This category of 
vessel enjoyed the most lenient accommodation 
for safety equipment, an important factor 
if Mayflower II was ever to look like her 
predecessor. The regulations of the British 
Ministry of Transport were aimed at life saving, 
fire fighting and navigation. To fulfill these 
requirements Mayflower II builders were allowed 
to equip the ship with five 12-man inflatable 
life rafts, a small diesel powered workboat to be 
carried on the upper deck, and a diesel engine to 
drive a generator for charging the radio's batteries 
and to drive a fire pump and bilge pump. The 
construction cost for the ship exceeded $100,000 
in 1956 dollars. 

Final rigging and loading-on of ballast in early 
April 1957 caused Mayflower II to miss its sea 
trials at the optimum time when the prevailing 
easterly winds began around 
Plymouth, England, between the 1st 
and the 15th of the month. The lack 
of a prevailing wind would make 
a 40-day crossing of the Atlantic 
impossible and the advertised May 22 
arrival day in America unachievable. 

At the same time, spirited 
negotiations over financing the debt 
for her construction were taking 
place. Those holding the liens on the 
vessel were not about to release her 
to a foreign country without proper 
guarantees that their money would 
be forthcoming. The negotiations 
inflicted a sinking blow to the 
planned sea trials. Mayflower II was 
not allowed off of her mooring. In an 


Ship designer William Baker, shipbuilder Stuart 
Upham and Capt. Alan Villiers on the main deck 
of Mayflower II shortly before the ship .sailed from 
England to Plymouth. 

act of valiant desperation, Alan Villiers, who had 
agreed to command the vessel, by his personal 
written guarantee to return, persuaded the owners 
to give him one day at sea to test the sails, become 
familiar with the rigging, and give the crew some 
experience shifting the sails in the wind. 

In a truly magnanimous gesture, Felix Fenston, 
president of the project, paid the remaining debt 
to get the ship underway. What he got for his 
generosity was the privilege to sign on with the 
crew as an untrained seaman. 

Her ungainly entrance into public view during 
her launch fueled the local debate over whether 


she sat high in the water^ the 
rudder was too small, and the 
sails were ungainly. 

Mayflower II could survive her passage to the 
United States. She sat high in the water, the 
rudder was too small, and the sails were ungainly. 
No ship that chunky could possibly withstand 
a storm. Surprisingly, the ship handled better 
than had been predicted. The crew worked well 
together. The funn} bowsprit sail turned out to be 
quite a nice piece of canvas. History has proven 
that the Mayflower II did not mock the faith put in 
her by Bill Brewster and Henry Hornblower II of 
Plymouth and that of William Baker, the designer 

The crew of Mayflower I J with Capt. Alan Vi I Iters after 
arriving in Plymouth in June 1957. 


and of Stuart Upham, the builder. She would 
safely arrive at Plymouth with her full crew and 
even ride through a 50-knot gale along the way. 

The Certificate of Registration, a ship's 
passport, was finally issued on the 18th of April 
and Mayflower II quickly got underway intending 
to use the charted course of the original captain 
Jones. Attending the departure ceremony were: 
James Oats, Lord Mayor of Plymouth. England; 
James T. Frazier, chairman of Plymouth, Mass., 
selectmen; and Henry Hornblower II, president of 
Plimoth Plantation. 

Courtesy stops by Mayflower II were made at 
Dartmouth and Plymouth, England, just as Master 
Jones of the original May-Flower had done. 

Alan Villiers was a well-known and highly 
regarded captain of square-rigged ships. He was 
not paid for the voyage. As he wrote in "Give Me 
a Ship to Sail," his account of the voyage, he felt 
his duty was to be "mindful of the moving story 
of the Pilgrim Fathers and how much their love of 
freedom and their magnificent pioneering meant 
in America." For most of the handpicked crew, it 
was a paid voyage. 

Villiers stipulated that the crew of Mayflower 
II "had to be experienced square-rigged sailors 
'fit, agile, and competent' who could take the ship 
through rough seas and any emergency." Such 
were scarce in 1957 as the days of wooden ships 
were fading into the history books. Villiers drew 
on his decades of experience to assemble a crew 
from those with whom he had sailed over the 

Villiers had hoped to get the voyage underway 
no later than the first of April in order to take 
advantage of the fair winds in the North Atlantic. 

One of the 90 sea chests Jilled with conunercial goods 
for sale in America as it appeared before being loaded 
into Mayflower U's hold. 

Delays— some financial, some bureaucratic, 
some shipbuilding — all preceded the departure 
ceremony at Plymouth, England, on the Barbican 
Steps where the Pilgrims departed. It was Easter 
weekend, 1957. 

Mayflower II was an awkward looking craft. 
She leaked a little in the main deck and through 
the transom gun ports, and the rigging chafed 
badly in spots. The Royal Navy placed three 
officers of the Air-Sea Rescue Service on alert just 
to make sure that the Mayflower II came to no 
harm as she departed England's territorial waters. 

As if there wasn't enough for a fledgling 
crew to do in becoming familiar with the rigging 
and sailing her competently. Mayflower II was 
laden with 30.000 to 50.000 pieces of mail to 
be hand-cancelled during the voyage. These 
envelopes, which contained a copy of the 

Mayflower Compact, were already addressed 
with postage affixed. Six boxes of 100,000 more 
letters were placed into stowage. The ship's hold 
was crammed with 90 sea chests packed with 
commercial goods for sales and promotions in 

Mayflower II finally slipped into the English 
Channel and sailed west into the North Atlantic. 
On April 25, she slammed head-on into a west- 
northwest gale. Villiers decided the North Atlantic 
route was out. He would head south along the 
route Christopher Columbus took into the trade 
winds. The decision would add 2,000 miles and 
two weeks to the voyage and cease any hope of 
arriving in America in May. The southern route 
had its uncertainties, too. If the trade winds were 
light, the journey could extend into the West 
Indies hurricane season. 

By the end of April, the crew had become 
accustomed to the ship. Felix, the ship's cat, 
eventually got his sea legs. He liked corned 

A sample of the more than 100,000 letters carried by Mayflower II, many 
hand-cancelled during the voyage across the Atlantic Ocean. 

beef, herring and milk, but not salt pork. Felix 
preferred the risk of scurvy to his daily ration 
of limejuice. He snoozed in the main yard bitt. 
The voyage quieted down through the first week 
of May giving the crew a chance to paint the 
main deck, and suffer "many bruised and date- 

By the end of Aprils 
the crew had become 
accustomed to the ship, 

cancelled fingers today [May 6]" as they tackled 
the seemingly endless pile of mail. 

On May 10, Villiers, using international code 
flags hoisted aloft, requested a passing oil tanker 
to report the position of Mayflower II to Lloyd's 
of London. He attempted to silence rumors that 
the ship had been lost at sea. Mayflower II spent 
most of the latter half of May becalmed in one 
location after another as the 
ship moved westward from 
the Canary Islands to the West 
Indies. A mere 20 miles per 
day was the best that could be 

June 1957 started out with 
some hope of improvement. 
Mayflower II turned northward 
from latitude 25 and headed 
for the Nantucket Lightship 
at latitude 42. Sudden squalls 
became a common nuisance, but 
on June 1 1 Mayflower II arrived 
at the Nantucket Lightship. 

According to Villiers' log, "Just at noon, 
rounded the Nantucket light vessel at last and 
hauled up for Cape Cod, going well on the port 
tack with a southwest breeze." The ship had 
reached Cape Cod and the voyage was declared 
"done" in the ship's log. Mayflower II had 
traveled 5,420 miles in 51 days, an average of 106 
miles per day. The ship was in good shape in spite 
of the storms and rough seas she had endured. 

A strong headwind and rough seas compelled 
Villiers to accept a tow into Provincetown harbor. 
Officials from Boston and Plymouth came aboard. 
Boats of every size and description tipped their 
ensigns and hooted their sirens in a raucous 
welcome. Speeches were given on Mayflower II's 
quarterdeck along with a ceremonial reenactment 
of the signing of the Mayflower Compact. 
Eventually customs officials got to perform their 
duties. After all, Villiers noted, the ship could just 
as easily have been carrying "a cargo of hashish 
and been manned by a crew of Communist agents." 

Mayflower II sailed on her own across Cape 
Cod Bay. On the advice of the Plymouth harbor 
pilot, the ship was towed through the shipping 
channel by the Coast Guard cutter Yankton to 
its mooring near the Plymouth Rock canopy. 
Mayflower II arrived in Plymouth just before 7:30 
a.m. on Thursday, June 13, 1957. The crew of the 
locally built shallop, outfitted in period costume, 
secured the ship's lines to her mooring, after 
which the crowd of thousands gathered on the 
shore "roared its delight," Villiers wrote. "If the 
welcome at Provincetown was wonderful, that at 
Plymouth was indescribable," he added. 

Among those on hand at the downtown 
waterfront to welcome Mayflower II was Richard 



under full sail on the Cape Cod Bay horizon. His 
family was living in a summer cottage on the 
ocean side of White Horse Beach. He jumped into 
his 12-foot rowboat with its 7-1/2 horsepower 
motor and headed north toward Long Beach and 
the shipping channel. About 90 minutes later. 
Mayflower II and his miniature craft crossed paths 
near the Bug Light, which marked the channel 
into Plymouth Harbor. He said he felt "small and 
insignificant" as the ship, now under tow by a 
Coast Guard cutter, passed by no more than 15 
feet away. Doug did not follow the ships into the 
harbor - it was just too busy with other boats. But 
he remembered visiting Mayflower II a few days 
later when it was tied up at State Pier. "It didn't 
smell too good," he said. 

The State of Massachusetts had spent $277,000 
in 1957 dollars to dredge a channel and prepare 
an anchorage for Mayflower II off Plymouth 

Mayflower II at anchor in Plymouth Harbor just ojfthe Plymouth Rock portico on June 22, 1957 
when a crowd estimated at 40.000 celebrated the ship 's arrival in daylong ceremonies featuring Vice 
President Richard M. Nixon . 

Silva. a high school freshman who later became 
the town's assistant superintendent of schools. 
"We had been watching the ship's progress 
everyday on the Today Show." Silva recalled. 
"They had bleachers set up along the waterfront 
to handle the crowds." he said and noted that the 
spectacle was an experience he never forgot. 

Roger and Marie Dunlap had kept a close 
watch on the news so as not to miss the ship's 
arrival. When Mayflower II finally showed up 

in Cape Cod Bay, the entire family - 
Roger, Marie, their two children, her 
parents and her uncle, Bert, founder of 
Bert's, a well-known local restaurant, 
piled into her dad's beach buggy and 
bounced out along Long Beach to view 
the ship's arrival from the point. 

Doug Hadfield, later the town's 
emergency response director, was 14 
years old when Mayflower II appeared 

May/lower II at anchor in Plymouth Harbor shortly ajicr arriving 
from Provincetown in June 1957. 


Rock. Although Gov. Foster Furcolo asked the 
Legislature to appropriate funds for reception 
festivities, legislators balked and eventually the 
reception committee voted to decline any state 

The Plymouth reception committee planned 10 
days of celebrations. A telegram from President 
Eisenhower read, "The name of the good ship 
Mayflower is dear to the hearts of all Americans. 
It brings to the mind our heritage of freedom and 
our historic ties to lands across the sea. Please 
give my congratulations to the skipper and crew 
of the Mayflower on the conclusion of their 
successful voyage and best wishes for a pleasant 
visit to our shores." 

The Plymouth reception 
committee planned 10 days 
of celebrations. 

Business before pleasure, however. On 
Friday, June 14, the 90 treasure chests were 
unloaded under the watchful eyes of three 
customs inspectors. The chests and crates 
contained samples of British wares, such as 
leather, textiles, scientific instruments, briar pipes 
and toiletries having a combined total value of 
some $200,000. The chests were placed into 
transit with destinations all across the country. 
President Eisenhower was given an oil painting of 
Mayflower II and a chest of feed for the animals 
at his Gettysburg, Pa., farm. 

Sunday, June 16, marked a special service of 
Thanksgiving conducted by Rev. Dr. Charles C. 

The crowd that assembled on the Plymouth waterfront 
on June 22, 1957, for the Grand Reception to celebrate 
the arrival of Mayflower II after a 55-day crossing of 
the Atlantic Ocean from England to Provincetown. 

Forman of the First Church Unitarian of Plymouth 
to celebrate the safe arrival of Mayflower II. Rev. 
Dr. Charles Edwards Park, minister-emeritus 
of the First Church in Boston, gave the sermon. 
That afternoon, a crowd of approximately 40,000 
visitors thronged the Plymouth waterfront to view 
Mayflower II as she moved from her berth at the 
pier to a mooring in the basin, about 400 feet from 
Plymouth Rock. Afternoon festivities included: 

• A tableau on the stage of the amphitheater, 
with music provided by a 120-voice choir from 
churches in Plymouth, Kingston, and Duxbury. 

• The presentation by Stuart Upham, the ship's 
builder, on behalf of his mother, Mrs. Percy 

Vice President Richard M. Nixon at Grand Reception 
ceremonies on June 22, 1957. U.S. Sen. Leverett 
Saltonstall (R.-Mass.) is in the background over 
Nixon 's right shoulder. 

Upham of Brixham, England, of the Upham 
Bible, a 17th century book of Common Prayer. 
The stipulation was that the prayer book 
always be kept aboard the ship. 

• During the afternoon service, Rev. Dr. 
Frederick M. Meek, minister of the Old South 
Church in Boston gave the sermon, "Seekers 
After Freedom." 

• Following the service Capt. and Mrs. Villiers, 
Joe Lacey, Adrian Small, and Anderson Bell 
of the crew took a plane from Hyannis to New 
York City to be guests on the Ed Sullivan 
national network television show. 

• Steve Allen hosted a live network TV show 

from Mayflower II itself that was attended by 
some of the crew . 

The Grand Reception got underway 
on Saturday. June 22. A two-mile parade i 
included 20 bands. 60 floats, as well as 
contingents of the State Police. National 
Guard. Plymouth selectmen, a Marine 
Corps drill team, a tribe of American 
Indians from Oklahoma, and school 
children by the thousands. At the head 
of it all was \'ice President Richard 
M. Nixon, who gave a speech from a 
platform in front of Cole's Hill. He 
said, "Defeatism, fear, timidity and 
discouragement are not the qualities of 
a great people. They certainly were not 
the qualities of the Pilgrim Fathers." 

\'illiers gave a rousing address 
that virtually ended any lingering 
doubts and questionable motives of 
the English for sending Mayflower 
II to America. Many Americans 
view ed the ship as no more than 
a commercial venture rather than 
as a philanthropic celebration 
of the founding of America and 
appreciation of the Pilgrim 
forefathers. Truthfully, it was a 
little of both. After the speeches, 
the Vice President and other 




S000-. wiu 

A celebratory ribbon 
commemorating the arrival of 
Mayflower II in June 1957. 


a. ani our 
% /lg(„of 

dignitaries attended a buffet luncheon at the 
Mayflower Society House on North Street. 

As part of the plan 
to pay off the project's 
debts, Mayflower II left 
Plymouth for New York 
City on Thursday, June 27 . 
She would be taken under 
tow through the Cape Cod 
Canal to Newport, R.I., 
where she made a brief 

A Coast Guard patrol 
boat met the tugboat and 
Mayflower II near Shoal's 
Point at the eastern end of 
Long Island and escorted 
the vessels to Hell Gate by 
midnight, taking advantage of 
slack water. 

As Mayflower II sailed up 
the Hudson River the next day, 
two helicopters, one on either 
side, hovered so closely to the 
ship that the air-flow from their 
rotors disrupted the wind pattern 
around the ship. So severe was the 
turbulence that the sails billowed 
aft, which not only caused the ship 
to drift backwards out of control 
but also placed stresses on the masts 
in the direction opposite that which 
they are braced for. The tugboat was 
called to resume the tow and get 
Mayflower out of its predicament. 
Mayflower II tied up at Pier 81 

A ticker tape parade clown Broadway in New York Cir\ 
celebrated the successful voyage of Mayflower II from 
England to America. 

Mayflower II at anchor in Plymouth Harbor just off the Plymouth Rock portico shortly after its arrival from 
England via Provincetown in June 1957. 

at West 42nd Street in Manhattan. A ticker tape 
parade proceeded down Broadway with the 
Mayflower crew dressed in Pilgrim attire and 
FeHx, the ship's cat, doing what cats do best.... 
thinking the parade was all about him. Ethel 
Merman, who was the official hostess for the 
New York Summer Festival, cut the ribbon 
draped across the Mayflower's gangway ushering 
the first tourists onto the ship. That first day's 
visitors numbered 9,270 and by the Fourth of 
July the daily number peaked at 14,000. The 
ship remained berthed at Pier 81 throughout 
the summer and fall. She was used as an artist's 
venue and prop for some 60 or so members of 
the Art Students League. Jauntily obliging the 
creative enthusiasm of the students were Godfrey 
Wicksteed, the first mate, and Graham Nunn, the 
cabin boy. 

Mayflower 11 ended her goodwill tour to New 
York City in late November and she was towed to 
a drydock in Gowanus Bay to remove barnacles 
and add a new coat of green anti-fouling paint. 
The ship had hosted some 500,000 visitors. 
Despite the large turnout, the debts that clung to 
Mayflower II remained. The ticket sales simply 
weren't enough to offset the $450,000 price tag to 
build the vessel, leaving $225,000 owed creditors. 

Forty hours were allotted for the voyage back 
to Plymouth, which was expected to be more than 
enough to ensure that Mayflower II would arrive 
in time for the Thanksgiving ceremonies even if 
bad weather intervened. First Mate Wicksteed 
took command of the vessel on its return to 
Plymouth. The ship departed New York City at 
9:30 a.m. Nov. 23 under tow. She arrived 

in Plymouth the next afternoon to a welcoming 
crowd of 3,000 spectators. 

At the outset it had been hoped that the 
ownership of the vessel could be transferred 
to the Plimoth Plantation Corp. as part of 
the Thanksgiving Day celebration. Lothrop 
Withington, a Plymouth resident and attorney for 
the Plantation, made it known that he retained 
a bill of sale for the vessel, which was to be 
delivered to the corporation once the group could 
agree on the terms for assuming the debt attached 
to Mayflower II. Negotiations were lengthy. On 
Nov. 27 Mayflower II was officially turned over 

to the Plimoth Plantation Corp., giving her a 
permanent home. 

All politics is local, as the saying goes, and 
Plymouth had its share. While Plimoth Plantation 
intended to berth the vessel on the Eel River close 
to the replica 1627 village, others in town saw it 
differently. They insisted that Mayflower II remain 
shoulder to shoulder with its historical companion 
- Plymouth Rock. They prevailed. And so. at the 
end of the 20th century, Mayflower II remained 
tied up at State Pier on the downtown Plymouth 
waterfront just a stone's throw from the Rock. 




In the top photo, a 1 91 4 Winton touring car 
is parked in front of the 65 Warren Ave. summer 
home of the driver, W.R. Sampson, president of 
the United Shoe Machinery Corp. The young lady 
on the left in the rear seat is his daughter, Esther 
Sampson, later the mother of William S. Franks, 
longtime member of the Plymouth Zoning Board of 

In the bottom photo, the 1952 Buick "Woodie" 
station wagon of David and Frimma Buckman, 
owners of Golden Gull Studios, cruises by the 
reviewing stand across from Cole's Hill at the 
conclusion of a late 20'^ century Fourth of July 

Plymouth neighborhoods 

Tom Bartlett 

A neighborhood is something we all recognize and identify with, but difficult to 
define. Neighborhoods in 20th century Plymouth developed on their own terms, 
organically, and on the basis of people and personalities, as opposed to zoning, or 
demographic projections. In some cases they evolved from an extended family setting 
down roots in a certain area, or from a group of new arrivals to a town establishing an 
ethnic enclave. And they sprung out of a settlement of people not related to one another, 
who simply grew up together, sharing tricks and treats, parades. Thanksgivings and 
hockey in the street. 

More than anything, as the stories that follow attest, a neighborhood is a place where 
one acquires an identity and a sense of belonging. It's a place you can go back to after 
you have moved away, and when you get back you still feel it's yours. Collectively, 
these neighborhoods, as recalled at the turn of the 21st century, helped form America's 

North Plymouth 

Charlie Vandini was born and brought up on 
Atlantic Street and remained a champion of North 
Plymouth ever since. By the last decades of the 
20th century, when people wanted to know what 
was going on in Plymouth they would stop by his 
hardware store. 

When I grew up in North Plymouth, there was 
a grocery store on practically every corner, three 
or four barbers, a bank, a cleaner, a lunchroom. 

and a movie theater. We bought our clothes at 
Shwom's department store or at Buttner's (branch 
store) next to the Zion Lutheran Church. We 
were self-sufficient. I had no reason to go to 
downtown Plymouth until I went to junior high 

Almost everyone in North Plymouth worked at 
the Cordage - Germans, Portuguese and Italians. 
They didn't speak the same language and it was 
noisy in the factory so they developed a sign 
language - such as signs for when the boss was 
coming along. The Cordage provided housing 

for the workers, health care, a kindergarten, and 
the Cordage Men's Club which had a couple 
of bowling alleys and a place to play cards, 
billiards and pool. (See: Vol. I, "Ropemakers of 
Plymouth," pp. 33-36.) 

It was a walking neighborhood. The men left 
early in the morning with the whistle, came 
home with the whistle for lunch, went back to 
work, and at 4 o'clock when the whistle blew, 
returned home. The kids walked to school. 
There were no buses - you didn't need buses. 
The women would stay home and cook. They 
were the first up in the morning and the last up 

The headlights of passing cars leave white trails in this 
time-lapse photo of Arthur 's Restaurant on the corner 
of Court Street and Forest Avenue in 1976. 


Holy Ghost Jesth al. July 1948. celebrating Portuguese 
heritage and faith in North Plymouth . 

at night. Most families had gardens. Some raised 
chickens, some pigs. Saturday was the day the 
chicken man would come around. You'd go to 
the back of the house, pick the chicken you 
wanted and wring his neck. The chicken man 
would weigh him, cut off his head, and pluck the 

Ernie 's Grill of the 1950s, it became more familiar as 
Ernie 's Restaurant in North Plymouth at the corner of 
Court and Cherry streets. 

feathers. Every Sunday we'd have the broth and 
the chicken.... 

At night after supper, all the kids would go 
out and play Kick the Can, Redlight, or Hide and 
Seek on the street or in somebody's back yard. 
There were no teams, just gatherings where the 
kids got together and did their own thing. 

We had the CYO program at the church 
and put on minstrel shows. There was a big 
gymnasium at the Cordage where we played 
basketball or staged plays and pageants. Dances 
were held at the Cordage auditorium. 

This auditorium was where immigrants would 
be sworn in as American citizens. 

Holmes Field and downtown 

Christine Pratt moved to the house across from 
Holmes Field when she was 3. Her family owned 
restaurants in downtown Plymouth and near the 
end of the century, she opened her own store in 
town to continue the tradition. 

Holmes Field and the beach in front of it 
were an important part of the neighborhood. We 
played on the field and on the beach. We rode 
our bikes down Robbins Road and left them at 
the gate and when we passed by the old lumber 
yard we stopped to talk to the men who worked 
there. I used to clam on that beach. 

One of our summertime activities as children 
was to sit on the Court Street sidewalk with 
a pencil and paper, keeping track of license 
plates to see how many states we could collect. 
A veterans home was up the street and the 
veterans folded right into the daily activities of 

the community. There is still a strong sense of 
community in this neighborhood, but people are 
more cautious. 

My mother's family came to Plymouth from 
Greece. They opened up restaurants and worked 
around the clock. My mother worked with her 
mother and her mother's brothers and sisters. 
The Colonial opened in the 1940s and was one 
of the longest-running businesses in town. We 
all did our time at the restaurant. Though my 
grandmother owned other property in town, she 
lived above the restaurant. 

My uncle ran the restaurant for years. The 

Main Street c. J 975 - Town workers install Christmas 
decorations across the street. 


quality of the food was always consistent 
because he was always there. The restaurant 
served home cooking. Grapenut pudding and 
bread pudding were two of the favorites that had 
been served over the years and were still on the 
menu when the Colonial closed in 2009. My 
grandmother grew up in the Depression when 
nothing was thrown out. So bread pudding was 
a way to use up stale bread. The menu was not 
a reflection of the family's Greek heritage but of 
the frugality born of the Depression. 

There aren't many restaurants that offer green 
or yellow jello as well as coffee jello - my 
grandmother's favorite, and a way of using up 
leftover coffee. 

Jim 's Restaurant on Main Street c. 1940s was 
Jreqiiented by locals and servicemen during World 
War II. 


Sherman Geller was born in 195 1 , grew up 
on Lothrop Street, and has worked and lived in 
Plymouth most of his life. 

View looking north near Town Brook fi'om the corner of Market, Sandwich and Main Street Extension in the 1960s 
prior to the urban renewal project demolition. 

My grandfather came to Plymouth from 
Russia. The family name was Schriberman but 
when my grandfather went to his first day of 
work at the Cordage, the foreman said, "I don't 
think that name is going to work, we're going 
to call you Abraham Sherman." He opened 
a hardware store downtown and Sherman's 
Furniture in North Plymouth. He was an 
entrepreneur who died young, apparently after 
some simple medical procedure at the 
hospital. The poor surgeon was chased 
out of town. 

I was born in 1951 and grew up on 
Lothrop Street in a big old battleship 
of a house with lots of room to live 
in and lots of kids my age nearby. My 
mother still lives there - with plenty of 
friends and neighbors. My Uncle Louis 
and Aunt Ruth lived a couple of streets 
over on Cushman Street, and my 
Uncle Hi and all my cousins lived on 

Vernon Street. The population of Plymouth was 
about 12,000 at the time. I used to pick up the 
phone at home and the operator would come on 
and ask what number, please. I would just say, 
"My uncle Hi, please." 

We'd go out for dinner at Ernie's or Leiand's or 
Bert's and to lunch at Gambini's, one of the first 
restaurants in town to serve vanilla Coke. 

In high school, the kids hung around in 

Main Sireel in downtown Plxniouih as it appeared in the earlx 1940s. 


1 lit Fiyithniih Railnnul Shuuui. locuud til ilic junction 
ofSorth Park and South Park aveiuies. during 
demolition in the 1960s after the completion of Route 3 
provided rapid auto access to Boston and points north . 

front of M&M's Sporting Goods in downtown 
Plymouth. That was the place to hang out, to lean 
up against the parking meters. God forbid if you 
were ever seen with your parent. Of course we 
complained all the time that there was nothing 

Main Street Extension c. J 970s showing the shops next 
to the Old Colony Theater, left. 

to do. There were cliques, but I wasn't aware 
of a racial or religious bias. Occasionally you'd 
hear comments, but the different groups seemed 
to mix well: the Cape Verdeans, the Italians, 
Portuguese and Jews. 

Summer Street 

Chris Hussey was born in 1936 and grew up on 
Summer Street. One-time president of the Pilgrim 
Society, he is an architect based in Brookline who 
keeps strong ties to Plymouth. 

Downtown Plymouth was a wonderful place 
for a child because it was dense, with open 
woods beyond. There were people living there 
from all income levels, but mostly lower income; 
very earthy, with an authenticity that you don't 
often get in the higher levels of society. Most of 
the houses were right next to each other, with 
little alleys or passageways between them, and 
in back, small gardens, grapevines, fruit trees, 
and sheds. There were a lot of kids and there was 
always stuff going on. At the end of the street, 
next to where the playground is, was Clough's 
Market. Up in back was the poor farm, where we 
played football, as well as at the playground. All 
ages. No helmets and none of the costume stuff. 
It was rough, tough, tackle football. One guy had 
a chicken breast, one that stuck out. He'd come 
at you with that chest and knock you over. 

The poor farm, as it was known (though it's 
"The Almshouse" on the assessor's plan), was 
a big old rambling building: a place for people 
who couldn't afford housing. It was a town 
charity. At one time it was a farm, but by the time 

we lived there it was no longer a working farm. 
The farm buildings were at what became the 
turn-around at Jenney Pond. Beyond that it was 
a wide-open shallow basin. On the sides of the 
basin were hills that went up, it seemed, 1 50 to 
200 feet, including "Frawley's Mountain." There 
were woods on the right-hand side and a trout 
farm. In the winter, it was a fantastic place to 

When Plymouth was a small town, the great 
thing was the denseness of the neighborhoods 
downtown, with stores and services nearby. Then 
you could head in the other direction and hit the 
woods and farms. You had the best of all possible 

The Training Green, bet^veen Sandwich and Pleasant 
streets, was designed by American landscape architect 
Frederick Law Olmsted and features Plymouth 's Civil 
War Memorial in the center. Troops ftom Plymouth 
assembled here as they prepared to leave for Europe 
during World War I. 


The National Moiuiment to the Forefathers off Allerton 
Street, commissioned by the Pilgrim Society and 
dedicated in 1889, is pictured in this aerial photo taken 
in the 1960s. 

Training Green 

William Keohan's family summered for 
years in Ellisville before moving to Fremont 
Street when Bill was 3. A steadfast advocate of 
neighborhoods and the open space beyond. Bill 
became active in organizations devoted to their 

If people would ask me where I 
lived, first I'd say downtown, but if 
I got specific I'd say Stephens Field- 
the Training Green. That was our 
neighborhood. Our house is around 
the corner from Stephens Field, where 
the town used to run recreational 
activities: baseball, tennis, basketball 
and swimming lessons. An old beach 
house, built in the early 1 900s, 
housed the concessions for the field. 
Chet Downie ran the stand and knew 
everybody in the neighborhood. He 

also ran the Boy's Club and was the truant officer. 
So he knew us all. 

Most of the families who lived on Fremont 
Street had lived there for some time. We were 
just a few hundred feet from the classroom, 
300 feet from the grocery store and very close 
to the Rock and all that it represents. We never 
needed to get into a car. The neighborhood was 
made up mostly of two-family houses. Couples 
raised their families and stayed on through 
retirement. Sometimes people would grow up 
and buy a house next door to their parents: mini- 
compounds developed. Fremont is a high point 
in the area. From our back yard you look over 
Plymouth Beach and see the blinking light of the 
power plant. 

Growing up in our neighborhood gave me 
a sense of history and of Plymouth. Tourists 
would drive by all day and stop at the house 
to ask directions. The first time I realized I had 
an accent was when someone from Iowa asked 
directions to the Rock and I said, "It's right ovah 

Main Street, from Leyden Street looking north toward Shirley Square 

Richard's Meatland, a popular neighborhood butcher, 
located on Court Street in front of Benny's Plaza 
c. 1975. 

thayah unda the pillas." And he said, "What!?" 

The neighborhood was all about the kids you 
knew. We'd say, "Let's meet up at the Green." 
We would walk to downtown Plymouth, where 
you could find everything you needed: a cobbler, 
a tailor, a men's shop, Puritan Clothing and 
Buttner's. Pilgrim Drug was on the corner with 
a soda counter; Smith's, where you went to 
shop for a gift, also had all the newspapers and 
magazines. There was Ockers for office supplies. 
Old Colony Credit, and Toabe Hardware. When 
you walked into Toabe's, the office was on a 
balcony above. You'd say you were looking for a 
nut or a bolt to fix your bike and they'd sell it to 
you. Woolworth's had everything from parakeets 
and goldfish to spools of thread. Woolworth's 
also had a lunch counter, but no one ever dared 
to eat there. In the mornings the awnings would 
go up downtown - and the flags. In front of every 
store was a hole in the sidewalk for the American 
flag. Main Street was lined with flags. 


Jabez Comer 

Lenny Barbieri's family moved to the Jabez 
Comer neighborhood from Water Street in 1933 
when he w as 10. As a boy he went often to 
Gun Cooper's at the comer of Sandwich Street 
and Warren A\ enue, a general store that sold 
e\ er\ thing from newspapers to guns. From a 
pump on the side of the store. Cooper sold Texaco 
gasoline. It was the oldest continuously operating 
grocery store in the country. 

I started working for Guy Cooper after I got 
home from the service and talked to him about 
buying the store. He told me the price and I told 
mv father. My father was elated and we bought 
the store. We did some remodeling and renamed 
it Barbieri's. 

Friday night was the big night for grocery 
shopping - there were about 25 grocery stores in 
Plymouth. But when the supermarkets came in 
everything changed. I could see business going 
down. We decided to close on Friday nights and 
cut back from all day to noon on Sundays. When 
I started in the business I would begin work at 
5:30 in the morning and get home at 1 1 at night, 
seven days a week. No vacations. 

We sold SS Pierce canned goods and Cavicchi 
and Rossi delivered fresh food every day. People 
would come in and ask if we had good meat 
and I'd tell them we had Angus beef. They'd try it 
and say, "You're my meat man." We got to know 
the customers well and would supply them with 
their favorite cuts of meat and other groceries. 
People would call us with their orders and we'd 
deliver it to their kitchens. We'd leave the slip - 


The wood sculpture entitled Enisketomp, "Human 
Being " created hy Peter "Wolf Toth in 1983 as a gift 
to the people of Massachusetts and part of the artist's 
"Trail of Whispering Giants." Enisketomp is located in 
the Route 3 highway rest area near Long Pond Road. 

they never signed or anything. Once a month or 
so they'd come into the store and pay. 

I let people's bills build up and was stuck only 
twice - and that was by some better-off people. 
Workingmen would come in to pick up a few 

things for supper and on Friday they'd be right 
there with their money to pay their bill. V jsed 
to give them a cigar, a pack of cigarettes or a 
quart of ice cream because we appreciated it. 
The lobstermen, who hardly had any money, 
would come in on Friday afternoons and pay 
$2 a week until the bill was paid off. I closed 
the store in 1973 because supermarkets were 
coming in and things were changing in town. 

West Plymouth 

Myra Glansberg was one of the early pioneers 
to settle into a West Plymouth neighborhood. 

In 1 979, after two and a half years in an 
apartment downtown, we bought a house in 
West Plymouth. We told our friends we were 
moving to the suburbs! 

West Plymouth was an area then best known 
for cranberry bogs and an airport that was just 
starting to get built up. However, back in the 
1 800s, West Plymouth had been a center of iron 
ore production. One of the furnaces for smelting 
the ore was called the Federal Furnace, which is 
where the road connecting Plymouth to Carver 
got its name. These furnaces consumed huge 
areas of woodlands and the iron cannon balls 
made there were used by the American army in 
the War of 1812 

Shortly after we moved to West Plymouth 
I signed up to have a Tupperware party at my 
house. I thought it would be a good way to meet 
the neighbors. 1 went up and down the street and 
put invitations at each house. Almost everybody 
on the street came and many bought some of 

the food storage containers. Fifteen years or so 
later, a friend was selling Tupperware and begged 
me to have a party so she could get credit for 
it. There had been a big turnover on the street 
and I felt again I'd like to get to know the new 
neighbors. So I did the same thing, going up 
and down the street leaving invitations at every 
house. Nobody replied and nobody showed up - 
people were too busy, I guess. 

West Plymouth was a great neighborhood for 
raising children. Morton Park, where our children 
learned to swim, is right down the street. We'd 
often stay on after the lessons and spend the rest 
of the day at the pond. Other summer activities 
were focused on things going on at the West 
School: tennis, basketball, arts and crafts and 

Gellars Snack Bar at the four corners in Manomet 
(State and Beaver Dam roads) draws summer crowds 
and locals year-round with ice cream and sandwiches. 

various activities. During the school year, the 
school bus would arrive in the afternoon and 
within minutes there were children in my front 
yard and in the driveway and in the street in 
front of the house, playing all of the things that 
children play. 

We used to have 70 to 80 kids at our door on 
Halloween. They were all neighborhood people. 
We may not have known them all, but you 
didn't worry about them. There also used to be 
Halloween parties at Memorial Hall, with games 
and magicians and costume contests... 


Susan Cellar's family has been central to life in 
the Manomet neighborhoods for almost a century. 
As owners and operators of Gellars snack bar and 
service station, the family continued operations 
through the end of the 20th century and beyond. 

When I grew up in Manomet you knew 
everyone from here to the canal. My father 
would look at his watch and say, "It's 2 o'clock 
(so and so) is going by. I'll get you a ride to 
town." It would be one of his customers driving 
by, who could give us a ride to downtown 
Plymouth to do errands. He knew what time 
they'd go by, and he also knew when they'd pull 
in because they needed gas. 

People would meet here at Gellars and 
they still do. This is the meeting place for the 
neighborhood. Sometimes they buy things, but 
sometimes they just come to meet their friends. 
They pull into the parking lot and talk. People 
who grew up here and moved out of town come 




Manomet Post Office and Rogers market on Strand 
Avenue - 1950s. 

back and sit at the picnic tables and wait to see 
someone they know. Chances are I know most of 
them too. You get to see a lot of people you knew 
long ago. It's nice for people to find something 
that's the same as when they grew up. That's 
why people come back. Either they used to hang 
around here or they worked here. We now have 
working for us great-grandchildren of people 
who used to work here 

My grandparents settled here in 1926 and 
had a little tea room where the snack bar is now. 
My Dad put in a pit to grease cars and opened 
the gas station in 1 946. We bought the house 
next door in 1 955, where I live now. One of my 
brothers runs the station here and another has a 
station in town. My sister worked for 30 years at 
a bank and when she retired came to help out 
here. We're all still living in the neighborhood. 

People used to come down to Manomet on 
a trolley from downtown Plymouth and go to 
Emersons, the White Horse Beach general store 


with a dance hall upstairs. On Sundays they'd 
come down and go to Playland and White Sands, 
a barroom, but on Sundays they had BBQs. 
They'd come bv horse and buggy. There were 
parties at Judge Hayden's big house and at the 
Batons' who owned the paper mill. Rocky Hill 
Road was Shore Road and was the main road to 
town. State Road was just a fire road. 

There's an Indian burial ground with a fence 
around it at Fresh Pond. People have found 
Indian artifacts at Bartlett Pond. The Indians 
would set up their summer quarters in the spring 
and at the end of the season they'd bury their 
stuff in the ground. 

We've been in the Fourth of July parade for 30 
years. We had a 1 926 Model T with a dilapidated 
ice cream cone on the back of it. Everyone knew 
the parade was over when they saw us coming. 
We were always the last float. 


Wedge Bramhall was bom at Jordan Hospital, 
one mile awa\ from his family homestead, and 
has lived in Chiltonville most of his life. 

Chiltonville used to be thought of as the 
area from Jabez Corner up to the Four Corners 
at the intersection of Jordan, Clifford and Old 
Sandwich roads and down to Plymouth Beach. 
Now Chiltonville seems to have spread to The 
Pinehills, up Jordan Road and over to Russell 
Mills Road. Regardless, Bramhall's Corner has 
always been the heart of Chiltonville. 

When I was young we played on the street 
every day at the fork in the road at Sandwich 


Bramhall 's general store, a landmark in Chiltonville, 
was once the area Post Office. 

and River streets. In high school we played street 
hockey for hours after school. The cars would sit 
and wait for a break in the action. We had a dog 
at each end to catch the balls that missed the net. 

When it snowed my father would drag a 
homemade sleigh loaded with kids behind his 
1 952 Ford tractor around the block by Doten 
Road. We'd go sliding on the Hornblower's hill, 
now the Plantation parking lot. In the summer 
he'd pull a wagon with the tractor out to our 
property on Plymouth Beach. 

The beach is also part of Chiltonville. Some of 
the property on the beach is owned by the town 
and leased by the house owners. My grandfather 
owned land all the way from the store down 
Clifford Road to the beach. The land I own on 
the beach has been in our family since 1 697. We 
couldn't find any bill of sale, it was just handed 
down. When we were little kids we used to take 
off on bikes from our house, go straight down 
Cliff Street, through Manter's Point, over the 
bridge and to the beach. We didn't have to deal 
with the beach parking lot. 

When my grandmother died in 1969, my 
father asked if any of us were interested in 
the beach property. It was about an acre and 
worth $5,000. I said I was interested. He said, 
"What the heck do you want that for?" I said I 
would like to build a house out there. It took 
me seven years to get the permits, but it was 
worth it. I had to build it on stilts because of 
the flood insurance. We lived with a windmill 
and wood stove - there was no central heating 
for the 1 7 years we lived there. It changed my 
whole outlook on how the world runs as far as 
electricity goes. 

We always had a large garden on Sandwich 
Road where our main house is now. We fertilized 
the garden with manure and seaweed, and sold 
our vegetables at an honor stand in a shed beside 
the house. We set it up with a tin can and a scale 
and people were so honest they wouldn't reach 
in the can to get change. So we made out well. 

Bramhall's Store has been in our family since 
the late 1 700's. My great grandfather, George 
Bramhall, ran it as a general store. The story goes 
that he would let his customers' bills add up and 
they would pay their debt with a piece of land 
somewhere out in the boonies. At times it was 
a shoe store and the Chiltonville Post Office. In 
1 981 my parents and I opened the store again 
and started with antiques and local crafts. Then 
I had the bright idea of selling vegetables, ice 
cream (Ben & Jerry's) and lobsters. It didn't make 
as much money, but people got a kick out of it 
and still do. It's a wonderful place for families 
to come. The kids ride their bikes in and get a 
cone or candy and hang out at the picnic tables 
under the big trees. It's a popular summer place 

for families from Plymouth and tourists. People 
always tell me that summer doesn't start until 
Bramhall's opens. And when it closes, summer is 

Six Ponds neighborhood 

The Six Ponds Association is a more formal 
recognition of South Plymouth neighborhood 
composed of Long Pond, Little Long Pond, 
Halfway Pond, Gallows Pond, Round Pond and 
Bloody Pond. Charlotte Russell is president of the 

A group of neighbors got together because 
they were concerned about the potholes on Long 
Pond Road and about the dump and the flies it 
was attracting. In 1951 they formed the Six Ponds 
Association. There is a charter, with the purposes 
and the duties of the officers. The first president 
was William Stearns, and the next president 
was my mother, Mary Emory. Membership was 
made up of a combination of winter and summer 
people. We now have 400 families we mail to, of 
which 1 40 are members. In 1 952 the dues were 
$1 .00; by 1 999 they had been raised to $1 0. The 
money is for mailings and water testing. 

Discussions at the meetings through the early 
years tended to revolve around the same issues: 
the dump and the road. A signage committee 
was formed with the hope of making the 
roadside a bit more attractive and less cluttered. 
There was a health committee, which had to do 
with the dump. We formed a group to pick up 
trash along the roads. We often saw refrigerators 
dumped in the woods near the road and of 

course there were the stray cats. There was much 
activity in the association when a person on Long 
Pond wanted to open a restaurant and bar. The 
neighbors were not happy about this because 
they wanted to keep the pond rustic and pristine. 

Water quality and what affects it has been 
a constant concern. Testing goes way back but 
has become more sophisticated through the 
years. When I was a child we used to take water 
right from the pond for drinking. The ponds are 
windows to the aquifer and we all drink from the 
same cup of water. The reason to save large tracts 
of open space is to protect the water. 

We always had Thanksgiving at Long Pond 
with buckets of water from the pond and a picnic 
on the lawn. My mother stayed here almost to 
the day she died. My father, when he was very 
sick, asked to be brought to the pond. He knew 
he wasn't going to survive and wanted to die in 
Plymouth. There was, and is, that feeling toward 
the area. 


Karl Lekberg moved to Ellisville in 1943, 
when he was 2 years old. 

My father took a job as farm hand for Mr. 
Sandler, who owned a large "gentleman's 
farm" and wanted to expand his operation. 
The Ellisville area was a farming community. 
Sandler, who owned the land and came for 
weekends, was on one end, and on the other 
end was Harlow, a working farm. The rest of the 
community worked at lobstering and cranberry 

There were two prominent families in Ellisville: 
the Marshes and the Ellises. The Ellises owned 
most of the bogs. The Marshes were lobstermen. 
In the early 1 950s, after the war and after the 
military moved out, Lookout Point was bought 
by developers and summer houses were built. 
Summer people came down from Boston and 
built small houses on small lots. The development 
changed the neighborhood, creating on the one 
hand "the summer people" and on the other, "the 

There weren't always people around to play 
with, but there was work to be done on the farms. 
The only time they paid us was when there was 
something specific to do like picking strawberries. 
Or sometimes they'd hire us to clean out the 
chicken house. When I was about 12, Harlow 
Farm was leased by the Reeses and suddenly 
there were a lot of kids in the neighborhood. One 
of the Reese boys was my age and we used to 
get into trouble together - boy trouble - running 
through the woods, looking for Indian artifacts, 
lighting fires and all that guy stuff. We thought it 
was pretty boring at the time but it made us self- 

We lived on our bikes and traveled in what 
we called a squadron. We used to tear around 
the neighborhood and crash through the woods, 
racing down hills trying to avoid trees. We rode 
to Bruno's Corner in Cedarville when we needed 
to get something. From my house to Bruno's 
Corner took about 1 minutes by bike going 
down to the end of Ellisville Road to Harlow's 
Landing and working across to Cedarville by 
Vallerville. The kids from Vallerville were a little 
closer to town so they were better than we were. 

We'd ride our bikes to Bloody Pond and Long 
Pond and sometimes we'd camp out. We'd bring 
a sleeping bag and plan to catch fish tor dinner. 
It ne\er happened, so we'd end up eating peanut 
butter and jelly. 

Sea moss gathering was a great teen-age 
summer job. We'd go out on a low tide when the 
rocks are exposed. Moss gathering was subject 
to weather. It it was blowing or there was a big 
sea, or too cold, we didn't go out. The sea moss 
was gathered in bank dories, which are made out 
ot wood with a point at each end. Heavy as hell. 
Northeastern Seamoss Co. from Kingston would 
come in a truck, weigh the moss we'd unloaded 
and pay us by the weight. 

Ellisville came into being only when the state 
put up a sign on Route 3A saying "Ellisville 
Village." Until then we were just some houses 
along the road. 


Carol Gibbs was raised in what was then 
indisputably the neighborhood center of 

Bruno's Corner, at the intersection of State and 
Herring Pond roads,was the meeting place for 
the neighborhood. People would pull up in cars 
and stand around. There were always three or 
four guys hanging out, smoking cigarettes, having 
Cokes, listening to the ball game. 

When my grandmother bought the property 
in 1935 from Clarence Swift, there was just a 
gas station. She built a house, which became 
the store on the first floor and living quarters 


above. When my father (Bruno Calzolari) took 
over, it became Bruno's Corner. My mother was 
known as Mrs. Bruno. After the war, my father 
added a coffee shop and soda fountain, which 
was called Mrs. Bruno's Coffee Shop. A barroom 
and restaurant, called The Cliff Lounge, was 
across the street. It was the only place to go for 
dinner on Friday and Saturday nights and was 
always crowded. I remember being in my bed 
and hearing all the noise and music from the 

Even teen-agers gathered at our place. There 
was a huge tree next to a small green area to 
the right of the gas station. That was our "town 

The "Cedarville Fire Department" was in our 
gas station. It was a call force - volunteers. My 
father was the captain. When the horn would 
blow, everyone came running - mostly out of 
the lounge across the street. Sometimes there 
were fires on roads you'd never heard of. They 
had brush-breakers that could get through. My 
brother had maps (drawn in the early 1900s) of 
the back roads. When he wasn't too busy, he 
would drive around in his jeep to see where the 
roads were so he'd know how to get places in 
an emergency. My father was also the winter 
caretaker for a number of the camps nearby. 

Cedarville was really alive in the summertime! 
The kids from the camps would be brought to 
the store once a week to buy ice cream or candy. 
And people would come from their summer 
cottages in their bathing suits and flip-flops, pick 
up lunch and take off. Thursdays and Fridays the 
back room would be stocked to the ceiling with 
beer and ice, milk and eggs. We would save the 

newspapers for certain customers. "Did you do 
the papers yet?" my mother would ask. That was 
my job: to write people's names in the upper 
right-hand corner of the newspapers. We had a 
small mailbox hanging on the wall and a stamp 

We sold a little bit of everything. We kept slips 
of paper folded over under the change bin for 
people we knew. When they bought something, 
we'd put the price on their slip. Every now and 
then, someone would say, 'I want to pay up.' 
We'd add up their charges, they'd give us the 
money, and we'd tear up the slip. 

The Little Reel Schoollionse in Cedanille. (see page 131) 

^CozY^ Barrett^s own story 

William H. "Cozy" Barrett, a selectman for 28 years and an assessor for 25, dominated Plymouth politics and town affairs for the 
quarter century following World War II. Indeed, that period of the town 's history might well be described as the "Cozy Barrett Era." 
Shortly before his death in November 1975, Barrett agreed to have Old Colony Memorial reporter George Hanlon write his life 
story, as often as possible in Barrett's own words. Hanlon's five-part series was published soon after Barrett's death. Following are 
extended excerpts from Hanlon 's stories. After noting that Barrett was born on Howland Street in 1901 , the son of a shipper at the 
Puritan Mills on the Plymouth waterfront, Hanlon picks up the story in Barrett's own words: 

George Hanlon 

. . ."The town in them days had a lot of 
industry. We had woolen mills, carpet factories, 
nail and tack shops - plenty of industry. When the 
woolen mill where my father worked closed down 
every year for two or three months at a time, my 
father never stopped working. He'd go over to 
the cordage company, which would give all those 
guys work. When the mills started up again they'd 
go back to the mills." 

Although Plymouth in those days was mostly 
"a horse and buggy town," Barrett recalled seeing 
some of the first automobiles. " There were two 
or three of them. One of them was an electric car, 
powered by batteries, with a stick in the middle 
for steering. There were big watering troughs on 
a lot of the streets with bubbling water keeping 
them full all the time. I can remember seeing the 
Stanley Steamers come along and a guy would 

The town in them days had a 
lot of industry. We had woolen 
mills^ carpet factories^ nail and 
tack shops - plenty of industry, 

hop off the seat and take a piece of rubber hose 
and stick it in the trough to fill the steamer. The 
goddammed water would go down just like that — 
empty the trough right out"... 

. . . One of the earliest jobs that Barrett could 
recall was one that he drifted into when he was 10 
or a little more. "I used to be a guide down at the 
Rock when I was a young fellow of 10 or 12. Of 
course they didn't sanction it in them days and if 
the cops used to come down they would kick our 
ass out of there. The Pilgrims used to holler like 

hell because we were down there. 

"There was about 10 or 15 of us doing it on 
our own and when people would drive up, we'd 
tell them a little history about the Rock and wait 
around to see if they were going to give us a 
tip. We'd tell them a pretty good history of the 
Rock — no baloney about it — and you know we 
used to do pretty good financially. . . . 

..."Everywhere I went I was an agitator about 
working conditions," he said. Probably without 
realizing it, Barrett was laying the groundwork for 
some of the working class support that rallied to 
his side when he ran for office in the late 1930s. 
That support, as we know, grew into a powerful 
force and only in recent years did it begin to show 
signs of dwindling. 

In addition to establishing root support as a sort 
of champion to the underdog, he was. according 
to those who remember the young man, also 


know n for his generous nature. It w as a genuine 
trait, intimate friends maintain, that he never lost. 

An example of one brand of Barrett generosity 
surfaced w hen he recalled a job he held in a North 
Plymouth theater. "Anyone w ho w anted to get in 
to see the show and didn't have the money, I'd 
let in anyway. Especially if it was cold outside! 
The ow ner would come and see the full house and 
think he was having a good 
night — until he counted the 
receipts. That job didn't last 
too long!" 

Again, his friends claim, he 
w as endearing himself to a few 
more future supporters. ... 

..."I did so well in the 
1938 election that I decided 
to run for selectman. In those 
days there was no work. Oh, 
a guy could get a job on the 
WPA. three days a week, $4 
a da\ — that w as S 1 2 . Now- 
sitting on the board were all 
these sourdough bastards and I 
figured I'd get one of them off 
the board. Everybody in those 
days who belonged to the Old 
Colony Club, ran the whole 
goddammed town and everything in it! Everyone 
was sore at them. At least the small people were. 

"I ran and I was feuding with them (the Old 
Colony Club), I was feuding with the cops and I 
was feuding with the firemen — I was feuding with 
everyone. And the people liked it. 

"I was selling lottery tickets (illegal at that 
time) and making myself about $90 a week. I'd 

get 15 cents for every 65-cent ticket I sold. I had a 
table at the back of the Colonial Restaurant where 
I used to sit and do my business," Barrett recalled. 

It was close to election time in 1939 that 
Barrett believed he was being watched and during 
a transaction with one "customer," he suspected 
the fellow of being a cop. Leaving most of the 
tickets stashed under his table "on a little ledge," 

Downtown Plyiiioiith during the Cozy Barrett era. This view, from the early iy5().s. was taken 
from the corner ofLeyden Street looking north up Main Street toward Shirley Square. 

Barrett started down Middle Street, only to hear 
"about 40 state cops" running after him. "They 
threw me up against a wall and reached into 
my pocket and pulled out a handful of tickets. I 
said, where did you get em? They said, 'In your 
pocket.' I said 'you're a goddammed liar, you put 
them in there.'" 

Barrett was arrested and locked up overnight. 

In the meantime, he said, the police tore his 
car apart trying to find the rest of the lottery 
tickets, not knowing about the hiding place in the 
restaurant. Appearing in district court he managed 
to get a postponement— just long enough to be 
elected to the board. 

Prior to the election Barrett bought space in the 
Old Colony Memorial claiming "I Am Innocent" 
and appealing to the voters 
to elect him and promising to 
expose those who "framed" 
him. In those days each of the 
five selectmen served for a 
one-year term. In the election, 
Barrett secured a seat by 
coming in third with 1 ,602 
votes — a very respectable 
showing for his first time 
around. The total number of 
votes cast was 3 ,89 1 . ... 

... In explaining his 
involvement in the lottery 
racket, Barrett told the OCM: 
"For 65 cents some poor 
slob had a chance of winning 
$1000. 1 made 15 cents on 
each ticket and sold about 
$600 a week. $90. That's better 
than $4 a day with a goddam pick and shovel with 
the WPA!" 

Selectman Barrett went to the 1939 annual 
town meeting in Memorial Hall, a meeting he 
recalls as packed to overflowing. " The place 
was jammed. Downstairs was the Pilgrims and 
upstairs was all the Portuguese, the Italians, the 
Irish and the Germans. I got up there and told 


1946 Board of Selectmen - from left to right: William H. Barrett, Paul W. Bittiiiger, Arthur E. Blackmer, Herbert H. 
Lamnan, James T. Frazier 

them to cut the budgets, and the poor would 
holler, 'Cut 'em.'" 

The OCM reported that 2,300 voters approved 
Barrett's recommendations on 19 out of 19 
budgets. When its business was done, including 
the special town meeting that followed shortly 
thereafter, the tax rate was set at $3 1 .50 rather 
than the predicted $36.00 

.... Cozy Barrett promised, if elected selectman 
in 1939, to "Smash the Ring," which he charged 
was the controlling political force in town. Close 
friends recall that campaign posters bearing 
that legend were being torn down or removed 
nearly as fast as they appeared. Barrett accused 
the police and firemen of that action, as well as 
of intimidating merchants who displayed the 
cards. To Barrett, the "Ring" represented the 
establishment, particularly the Old Colony Club. 
Not long after the election Selectman Barrett gave 
the first indication of carrying out his campaign 

In early June 1939 Barrett revealed that five 
highway workmen who used their own vehicles 
for road maintenance work were making $70 per 
week, $20 more than the selectmen believed they 
were getting. 

Part of the pay was being handled in another 
account, unknown to the board. Barrett argued 
that, in those depressed times, the men were only 
worth $50 and said that three more men could be 
put to work with the money saved. 

Barrett tied it to political control of the town 
house and it was the first time that evidence of 
this kind was brought to the public's attention. It 
was significant enough to warrant this comment 
from the OCM: "Such things as these will go far 

to convince many that charges made by Barrett 
before his election were not entirely unfounded 
and that the time has indeed come when someone 
not playing ball with any one clique should be 

It is also significant that, about the time 
Barrett made his disclosure of wrongdoing in 
the highway department, he lost his job with the 
WPA. He attributed this to the "Ring," which he 
charged also had control of that program in the 

Barrett wasted no time in digging into the 
budgets and business of the various town 
departments and kept hammering away at the 
highway department. In August of that year he 
disclosed that it was costing the town $250,000 
every 10 years for the upkeep of dirt roads with 
no improvements to show for the money. It was 
the kind of thing he delighted in bringing to the 
public's attention and he quickly developed a 
reputation as a watchdog for town affairs. He was 
also gaining political support for his efforts. 

It was about this time that Barrett first became 
interested in the assessing practices in the town, 
largely through discussions involving the WPA in 
preparing maps of the town. Talk of such mapping 
went on for a considerable time and stalled often 
enough to arouse Barrett's suspicion. At about this 
time it was disclosed in the OCM that one house 
on Warren Avenue with an estimated value of 
$4,400 was not even on the tax records. 

Other evidence pointed to the cranberry bogs 
where it was found that some of these properties 
were not listed for tax purposes. At any rate, 
the seeds of interest in the assessor's office and 
the tax structure were planted, along with an 
awareness of the power that is inherent in that 

In 1941 Barrett enlisted in the Army (he had 
served in the Navy during World War I) and upon 
his discharge in 1946 returned to Plymouth and 
was re-elected to the hoard of selectmen. 


1950 Board of Selectmen - from left to right: George A. White, Sumner A. Chapman. Jr., William H. Barrett. 
Herbert H. Lanman. James T. Frazier 

In 1948 Barrett ran for assessor and was elected 
out of a field of seven candidates, beating his 
nearest opponent. Leonard Burgess, by a mere 21 
votes. Oddly enough. Barrett lost his selectman's 
seat in that same election to George A. White, by 
390 votes. Assessor Robert A. Carr, with whom 
Barrett was to feud over the next 27 years about 
assessing procedure, was elected to his third term 
that year as an "unopposed candidate." 

Following the election. Assessor George 
Blackmer resigned in a dispute over who was 
to be appointed chairman. "If I vote for you 
George." Barrett said. "I have Carr for an enemy. 
If I vote for Carr. I have you for an enemy." 
With Blackmer 's resignation, a joint meeting of 
the assessors and selectmen appointed Leonard 
Burgess to the board. Burgess was the runner-up to 
Barrett in the election. 

In a series of letters written to the OCM in 
March 1974. Barrett told of his experiences on 

the board in those first few years in office. "I 
promised if elected that I would view and review, 
assess and reassess every piece of property in the 
town. Burgess, who knew building and values, 
agreed to do the whole town with me. In the 
next five years, no matter what the weather, we 
covered every square mile of the 106," Barrett 

Barrett claimed that they found $5 million 
in unassessed property that was never on the 
books, some of which was within one mile of the 
town house. "The rich on the gold coast from 
Jabez Corner to the Yankee Traveler (a motel on 
the corner of Rocky Hill Road and State Road) 
decided to fight and hired a high priced lawyer. I 
requested that the town put up $5,000 to $10,000 
for an outside appraiser to check our work and 
they confirmed 98 percent of what we had done. 
The rich withdrew their court action and many of 
them found out they couldn't pay their taxes. 

"One multi-millionaire who owned the biggest 
and best home threatened to tear it down if he 
didn't get a tax break. I told him to rip it down." 

Starting in 1 948 with a salary of $2,1 29, Barrett 
realized the importance of the assessor's job, both 
as a source of income, as well as political strength. 
He was never out of the job for the next 27 years, 
until provisions of a town charter (which he helped 
^ to write) adopted in 1973 forced him out of office 

1 in favor of an appointed assessor. 

2 Barrett apparently solidified his hold on the 

assessor's post by his handling of a multitude 

1 of tax rebate problems for hard-pressed 

^ homeowners. It is known that people who sought 
Barrett's help were rarely turned down if he 
believed their stories. Whereas he normally had 
little sympathy for the more affluent taxpayers, 
he claimed he treated them fairly if they had 
a legitimate complaint. He listed some very 
prominent "rich people" among his "lifelong 
friends" as a result of his fair treatment. 

Barrett's assessing practices were not popular 
with everyone however, as the files of the OCM 
in 1964 indicate. One letter writer accused Barrett 
of giving breaks to real estate developers in 
secret deals. The same person accused Barrett 
of overassessing his "small place in the woods, 
12 miles out," as if it were a "two-story house 
overlooking the ocean." When he took the case to 
appellate court, Barrett left the hearing room after 
refusing to take the oath, according to the writer. 

Another taxpayer wrote to the paper accusing 
Barrett of assessing comparable property on the 
same street unequally. "For the same value house 
and property one man would pay $233 while a 
neighbor would pay $133," the man wrote. He also 


charged that Barrett was in error when he said 
the Plymouth Cordage Company received only 
$400,000 in abatements for overassessed valuation, 
when appellate court records showed $934,675 in 
total abatements to the company. "My tax is small 
and I can thank Barrett. His refusal to take the 
oath at the appellate court was instrumental in my 
getting four decisions over the 
Plymouth assessors," the writer 

Barrett's use of the office 
of assessor came into sharp 
questioning that same year, 
1964, when it was revealed 
that Plymouth County District 
Attorney John R. Wheatley 
was investigating Barrett's 
private appraisal of the land 
on which the regional high 
school was built. In response 
to a letter of complaint, the 
district attorney sought to 
question Barrett about his 
apparent conflict of interest. 
Barrett failed to appear at the 
DA's office at the appointed 
time, however, sending instead 
a two-page letter explaining his action. 

Barrett evidently performed a private appraisal 
on the land on which the high school was 
eventually buih, giving it a value of $10,000 after 
it had been on the tax records for many years at 

The letter of appraisal, written on official town 
stationery on July 12, 1962, was used by Barrett 
to show that he couldn't have been in conflict 

of interest, as that particular law didn't become 
effective until May 1 , 1963. 

Although the DA did exonerate Barrett, he said 
in a written statement that he "deplored" Barrett's 
action and faulted him for using the official 
stationery " to add the weight of authority of his 
office to his own personal opinion." Incidentally, 

Main Street, then Route 3. in the early 1950s from the Leyden Street intersection looking south 
down Main Street Extension. The large building on the left was then the town 's main post office 

Wheatley pointed out that Barrett's reply to the 
charges was written on semi-official stationery 
bearing the town seal, Barrett's name and the 
motto, " The Poor Man's Champion." 

The questionable land appraisal was just part 
of the high school land controversy. Barrett was 
opposed to the whole proposal of building a 
regional high school. He opposed the purchase 
when it came before town meeting in March 1961 

claiming the town's economy was too shaky to 
support regional development. He predicted a 
sharp rise in taxes. 

School proponents argued that the figures 
available at the assessors office did not support 
Barrett's contention. Town valuation, it was 
pointed out, had increased $10 million in 10 years 
to the $39.9 million level. 
Borrowing for the regional 
system, it was argued, would 
not affect the town's general 
borrowing capacity. 

Town meeting approved 
the $2.5 million cost and 
Barrett threatened to put the 
question on a referendum. He 
did just that and got a special 
election on April 22, in which 
the townspeople overturned 
town meeting approval of the 

At a special town meeting 
on June 29, the bond issue 
was again approved by a vote 
of two to one and once again 
Barrett took it to the people 
in a referendum. This time he 
failed, however, as the vote on Aug. 12 was 1 ,627 
for and 1 ,128 against. 

A conservative estimate of the cost of the 
delay in construction was put at $100,000 by 
the OCM at the time - plus the fact that there 
were fewer classrooms for the same amount of 
money. An interesting statistic is that the voters of 
Precinct 1 (North Plymouth), the traditional Barrett 
stronghold, voted heavily against the school on 


both occasions, despite the fact that they paid less 
taxes per capita and had more children enrolled in 
the school system. 

Barrett resorted successfully to the referendum 
in December 1969 when he got the voters to 
overturn tow n meeting appro\ al of an intermediate 
school site on land in West Plymouth, between 
Federal Furnace and South Meadow roads. Barrett 
was opposed to the eminent domain proceeding in 
this case and recommended use of land in the town 
forest \\ here the school was eventually built. 

Cost to the taxpayer and the eminent domain 
procedure were two of Barrett's professed 
concerns. These elements played a prominent part 
in at least three notable cases posing problems 
for the town: a proposed takeover of sections 
of the w aterfront b\ the National Park Service: 
the proposed extension of a new Route 44 into 
Plymouth: and the proposed purchase of the 
old Penn Central freight yards for municipal 
purposes. All three proposals would have 
involved eminent domain proceedings, Barrett 
charged, w ith resultant loss of homes, businesses 
and jobs. 

While the question of Route 44 is still unsettled, 
there is little likelihood that it will ever come down 
into the w aterfront as originally proposed. A public 
hearing on the matter in 1973 revealed that if the 
impact of such an extension into the area was too 
great, the state Department of Public Works would 
not force the issue but would seek an alternative. 

Barrett successfully eliminated the National 
Park proposal by getting townspeople to overturn 
two heavily favored town meeting actions. One 
w as for the purchase of the railroad property at 
S67 J0() and the other was approval of a $35,000 

waterfront improvement study. Barrett maintained 
that all waterfront proposals were tied together 
and would result in the National Park takeover. 
The vote on May 22, 1971, ended any hope of 
the town acquiring the valuable land with its vast 
tourist parking potential. 

The parking, Barrett maintained, was the key to 
the whole waterfront deal. 

While it is difficult to assess the effect of his 
actions on the future of the town, in this instance, 
it is obvious that the man lacked the ability to 
think on the grand scale. He must have realized 
this recently, when he said publicly and privately 
that the railroad property would have been a 
good purchase and would have made an excellent 

location for housing the elderly. 

Barrett's strength was in the "small people" 
he represented. He needed them as much as they 
needed him. and he was good to them in his own 
way. Close friends maintain that he was extremely 
generous with those in need, having known what 
it means to be poor himself. 

One longtime observer of the Barrett era has 
commented that the man's greatest contribution 
was his ability to stir up debate, forcing issues 
into the open. "Not a bad thing on the board of 
selectmen" he commented, "and one which I hope 
will not die now that Barrett is gone."... 


World War II memories 

Zachary W. Ennis 

When Pearl Harbor was attacked on Dec. 7, 
1941 , the United States became fully engaged in 
World War II. The sneak attack did more than call 
the nation to action, it called a people together. 
In small towns and large cities, men, women 
and children responded to the crisis by helping 
in whatever way they could. In Plymouth, an 
estimated 2,200 of its 13,000 residents served in 
the armed forces before the war ended in 1945. 
But those who remained behind did their share, 
too. This, briefly, is the story of two Plymouth 
natives during that time - one of whom served in 

r Hf.M.-^^^mmM combat in Europe while the 
^ jF_ other helped out in various 

ways on the homefront. 

When the war began, 
Antonio "Tom" Ruggiero, 
who grew up on Newfield 
Street, was in California 
pursuing an acting career. 
Joan Vandini, who lived 
on Atlantic Street, was 
nine years old and out on a 
Sunday drive with her family 

Joan Vaihlini as a young girl 
in Plymouth during World War 
II. After the war she married 
Richard Tassinari and helped 
him operate Balboni 's Drug 

when they heard about the attack on the radio. 

Ruggiero returned to Plymouth and went to 
work at the Puritan Mills on the waterfront while 
waiting to be drafted. Finally, he decided to enlist 
and asked to be assigned to the Air Corps. But, as 
he recalled years later, "It was wartime and they'd 
say anything to get you in." 

Joan (Vandini) Tassinari remembered that 
almost every home on Hamilton Street in North 
Plymouth had a boy serving in one or another 
branch of military service. 

Ruggiero ended up in the infantry at an Army 
camp in Tennessee where he volunteered for 
training with a new Ranger battalion. On D-Day, 
June 6, 1944, he was in a landing craft headed 
for Pointe du Hoc, a heavily fortified German 
stronghold on a high bluff just west of Omaha 
Beach. Before reaching the beach his boat was hit. 

"I never saw a boat go down so fast," 
Ruggiero said, recalling the event. With more 
than 60 pounds of gear, he had to act rapidly to 
avoid drowning. "I had to fight like hell to get 
everything off." He and other survivors from 
his boat were picked up and Ruggiero went on 
to fight through the rest of the war in Europe, 
including the Battle of the Bulge. One of his 
lasting memories of combat was "tree bursts," 
when the tops of trees were hit by artillery shells, 
sending branches and giant shards of wood 

Antonio "Tom " Ruggiero, as a U.S. Army Ranger 
during World War II. After the war he became a 
Plymouth firefighter, retiring as a captain after 30 
years of service to his hometown. 

careening through the air, endangering everyone 
in the vicinity. It was "just so horrible," he said. 

But Ruggiero survived, earning two Purple 
Hearts and being awarded two Bronze Stars and 
a French decoration during his tour of wartime 
combat duty. In 2009 he traveled to Paris with 
other surviving World War II veterans to receive 


a Legion of Honor from the French government 
as part of the commemoration of the 65th 
anni\ ersary of the D-Day landings. 

Equall\ important as the efforts of those in 
the mihtarN were \\ ar-related activities on the 
homefront. (See: \'ol. I. "The Homefront: 1941- 
1945." pp. 137-149) Joan Vandini remembered 
simple things like food and fuel shortages that led 
to rationing, growing Victory Gardens and buying 
bonds to support the war effort. Blackout curtains 
kept inside house lights from being seen from the 
street. And the top half of automobile headlights 
were painted black to reduce glare. 

As a Girl Scout. Vandini knitted squares of 
cotton that would be made into afghans. She and 
other Scouts would meet at the Mayflower House 
on Winslow Street w here they would walk around 
long tables and put into a little box a variety of 
items that would make up kits for soldiers. When 
she was in the sixth grade at Hedge School, she 
w as one of the girls who showed adults where to 
go to collect their ration books. Her mother. Rose 
(Reggiani) Vandini, chaperoned USO (United 
Ser\ ice Organization) dances at Camp Edwards 
on Cape Cod. 

When the w ar ended in August 1945, life 
in Plymouth slowly returned to normal. Tom 
Ruggiero became a Plymouth firefighter and 
retired as a Captain after 30 years of service. "It's 
the best thing that ever happened to me," he said. 

Joan Vandini married Richard Tassinari, whose 
family ow ned Balboni's Drug Store in North 
PK mouth. Together. Joan and Richard continued 
to operate the business until well into the 21st 
century. (See "Drug stores and pharmacies," pp. 



John Sears 

During World War II, although I was 31 and 
newly married, I was drafted and assigned by 
the U.S. Army to a chemical warfare battalion at 
Camp Rucker in Alabama. I had grown up near 
Jabez Corner in my native Plymouth and had 
rarely gone out of town. 

The 87th Chemical Battalion was composed 
primarily of draftees from New England, the 
mid-Atlantic states and Indiana and Wisconsin. 
It was formed in 1943 

and after our training 
in Alabama, we sailed 
to England from New 
York on the Queen 
Elizabeth, which had 
been refitted as a 
troopship, and then 
took part in the D-Day 

invasion of France. The 

87th remained engaged 

in frontline combat in France and Germany for 
326 consecutive days, including the Battle of 
the Bulge, and near the end of hostilities, helped 
liberate a German concentration camp where 
slave labor was used to assemble V-1 and V-2 

Throughout the war, as an enlisted man 
assigned to the headquarters detachment, I 
helped run supplies for the whole battalion, 
securing rations, weapons, ammunition, gasoline. 

During the war our battalion^s 

radio identification code 
was ^Camel^ and each company 
had its own color - Camel Red, 
Yellow, etc. 

water and clothing for more than 700 men. 

After the war in Europe, the 87th sailed home 
on the Queen Mary, another prewar transatlantic 
liner that had been converted into a troopship. 
During the war our battalion's radio identification 
code was "Camel" and each company had 
its own color - Camel Red, Yellow, etc. 
Headquarters company was Camel Green. 
Although the kind of chemical warfare that 

marked World War I 

- clouds of poison gas 
drifting across a wide 
front - was virtually 
unknown in World 
War II, the Army was 
prepared for the worst. 
All American troops 
carried gas masks 

and the 87th hit Utah 

Beach in Normandy 
fully equipped to respond in kind to any 
outbreak of gas warfare by the Germans. 

While such retaliatory action was never 
needed, the 87th was kept busy providing 
precision mortar artillery support for a variety 
of infantry, armor and engineering units. Firing 
4.2-inch wide shells weighing 25 pounds 
each, experienced combat units of the 87th 
could put 20 rounds into the air before the first 
one landed up to 4,000 yards away. ...Two 

types of shells were fired from the 330-pound 
weapon: HE (high explosive) shells that could 
penetrate thick concrete bunkers and WP (white 
phosphorus) shells that not only provided bright 
target markers but burned virtually everything 
and everybody within a wide radius on impact. 
While in combat, the 87th fired 184,010 
rounds. ... 

At full strength, the 87th was composed of 
38 officers and 700 enlisted men divided into 
four companies and a headquarters detachment. 
The battalion suffered 384 combat casualties 
- 52 percent of its total strength. Troops of the 
87th were awarded one Legion of Merit, three 
Croix de Guerre, 17 Silver Stars and 124 Purple 
Hearts. The battalion earned five battle stars and 
a Presidential Unit Citation. 

When we came ashore on D-Day, all our 
companies were equipped with poison gas. We 
had both mustard and phosgene gas shells. But 
because the Germans never used their gas, we 
never used ours. ... About 10 days after D-Day 
we were outside Cherbourg and after heavy 
fighting we took that French port and got into 
the German Wehrmacht booze. We were loading 
the stuff on and needed more space in our trucks 
when a captain came up to me and said, "All 
right, Sears, I want you to get rid of that gas." 

I asked, "Where?" He glared at me and 
replied, "I gave you an order." We couldn't take 
it back to the ammo dumps because nobody 
wanted it - it was too dangerous. So I had it 
buried in a farmer's field outside Cherbourg. 
With a pick and shovel we dug a trench about 
3-feet wide, 3-feet deep and maybe 15- or 20- 

feet long. Over the next few days we carefully 
put all the poison gas from the 87th five 
companies into the trench, covered it over and 

In March 1945^ units of the 
87th took part in two crossings 
of the Rhine River. 

went on our way. It may still be there. . . . 

During the Battle of the Bulge, the 87th 
was rushed south from Aachen to help stop the 
German advance. On Dec. 28, 1944, in the tiny 
Belgian village of Sadzot, B Co. was overrun. 
In a close quarters firefight with German Waffen 
SS troops the company suffered two killed, eight 
wounded and 27 missing in action and presumed 
captured. It was the single most costly encounter 
during the war for any unit of the 87th. 

In March 1945, units of the 87th took part 
in two crossings of the Rhine River. When 
a railroad bridge over the river at Remagen 
was unexpectedly seized by American troops 
on March 7, units of the 87th supported the 
crossing by providing harassing and interdictory 
fire on roads and crossroads along the east bank 
of the river. On March 11, the 87th was ordered 
to move 317 miles south to help the 7th Army 
cross the Rhine near Worms. On the night of 
March 13-14, the battalion was bivouacked in 
Verdun, France, scene of some of the bloodiest 
battles of World War I. 

In mid-April, only a few weeks before the 
war in Europe ended, we were more than a mile 

outside the German town of Nordhausen when 
we began to smell it. It was the stench of mass 
human death, not like the smell of battlefield 
dead. It was a putrid smell, both gagging and 
penetrating at the same time. It went right 
through you. 

There must have been 5,000 bodies there, 
in crude wooden barracks or stacked up like 
cordwood on the ground outside. Only a couple 
of hundred were still alive when we got there. 
They were emaciated, hollow-eyed, weighing 
maybe 60 or 70 pounds each. They were 
wearing tattered black and white striped rags. 
Most of them were barefoot. 

The Germans had been using them as slave 
labor - French, Poles, Russians, Czechs - to 
assemble their V-1 and V-2 rockets. Hitler's 
last-gasp weapons of mass destruction. They 
worked in tunnels in a nearby mountain and 
most of those who survived were so far gone we 
couldn't do much for them. 

We rounded up German civilians from 
nearby towns and had them bring the bodies out 
and bury them. The civilians denied knowing 
anything about what had been happening there. 
I asked them, "How can you deny it. can't you 
smell it?" 

After the war was over and before the 
Russians moved into Nordhausen, because it 
was in their occupation zone, our forces took 
a lot of stuff out of that mountain and had it 
shipped to Huntsville, Ala., where we set up our 
own rocket testing facility. 



Parker Barnes, as told to Joan Bartlett 

In May 1945. my Marine fighter 
group was stationed about 300 
miles south of Japan. To head off 
Japanese suicide bombers, known as 
kamikaze, we'd go up 100 miles north 
of Okinaw a and fly back and forth 
across the probable course of any 
enem\ aircraft. It was very boring. 
Flying is hours and hours of boredom 
interrupted by moments of sheer 

On May 28, we took off fully 
loaded with ammunition for the six 
50-caliber machine guns in each wing. 
The sun was straight up in the sky and 
there w as no cloud cover. Eight of 
us were flying at 8.000 feet east and 
west across the path of any Japanese 
suicide flights. I was flying at the end 
of two four-plane sections, which 
meant I was the last plane in the formation. My 
position was like being at the end of the whip on 
skates, requiring constant close attention to the 
section leader, so flying tail-end Charlie didn't 
allow much looking around at the scenery. 

I saw a reflection in the ocean, about two 
miles away. I didn't pay much attention to it at 
first, but then I began to think the flash might 
be from a boat or a plane's windshield. It was at 
about eight o'clock down. 

Marine Corps Maj. Gen. Lewis B. Woods pins a Distinguished Flying Cross 
on 1st Lt. Parker L. Barnes of Plymouth for his role in leading a group of 
F-4U Corsairs in downingll Japanese kamikaze planes off Okinawa in May 

mirror I could see the other planes 

I kept going and sure enough as we 
got closer, at 3,000 or 4,000 feet, we 
could see several planes flying in the 
same direction, maybe over an area not 
much bigger than Plymouth Harbor. 
We recognized them immediately as 
Japanese. We ceased flying in formation 
and flew like gulls, going anywhere to 
pick off a plane. 

We destroyed all 1 1 of them. How 
lucky were the sailors in the fleet that 
the sky was not overcast. 

How many served? 

I decided we better investigate, so 1 tried to 
call the flight leader by radio, but nobody heard 
me. I didn't know what to do. We were flying 
away from these bogies (unidentified aircraft) 
and they were getting closer to Okinawa where a 
major portion of the U.S. Pacific Fleet was about 
30 minutes away. I knew I had to turn before I 
lost them altogether. So I fire- walled the throttle, 
which means full power, and flew out in front of 
our formation, pulled up in a violent maneuver 
and headed back and down. In my rear view 

At the end of the 20th century, two 
veterans of World War II - former 
Selectman Alba Thompson and former 
School Supt. F. Edward Nicolas, compiled a 
list of the men and women from Plymouth who 
served in the armed forces during World War II. 
After citing a state law that requires disclosure, 
Thompson succeeded in getting a list from the 
National Guard. By the time Thompson and 
Nicolas had scoured a variety of sources and 
completed their work, more than 2,200 names had 
been compiled, representing about one of every 
six citizens of Plymouth during the war years. 


Urban renewal in downtown Plymouth 

Karin Goldstein 

Adapted from Ms. Goldstein's Boston University 
doctoral dissertation, "From Pilgrims to Poverty: 
Biography of an Urban Renewal Neighborhood," 
a copy of which is on file at the Plymouth Public 

In January 1964 a wrecking ball struck a house 
on the south side of Town Brook west of Market 
Street, shattering the calm of a cold morning. 
As members of the Plymouth Redevelopment 
Authority looked on, the widespread demolition 
of buildings in the Summer-High street 
neighborhood began. When the massive 
redevelopment project was completed six years 
later, more than 100 buildings in a 30-acre 
downtown neighborhood had been demolished, 
bringing about the most dramatic change to 
Plymouth's townscape in its more than 300-year 

Forty years later, shortly after the turn of a 
new century, strong feelings both for and against 
the nearly $2 million urban renewal project were 
still very much alive. 

Urban renewal in the United States had its 
roots in the late 1940s. As Plymouth recovered 
from the Depression and World War II, it became 
obvious that the town needed to attract new 
sources of revenue. Industrial employment had 
dropped 33 percent between 1920 and 1944. 

People's Market on Market Street, above, 
awaits the wreckers ball in 1 965 as the area in 
front of the downtown post office is cleared as 
part of the urban renewal project. At right, the 
corner of Market and Summer streets is cleared 
for construction of a hotel. The Beth Jacob 
synagogue is at the right rear. 

With industry and population growth 
slowed, community economic leaders began 
considering the future. How could industry 
be attracted to Plymouth? If not industry. 

not cope. According to the report, 20 
percent of Plymouth homes were 75 
years old or more, particularly those 
near the Town Brook. Many of them 
were deemed "obsolete and unfit for 
habitation. . .a blight on the town." 
One new revenue option proposed in 
the report was redevelopment of that 
part of town. 

Starting with the Depression, 
redevelopment projects to clear 
slums and blighted areas could be 
funded by federal grants. A 1937 
federal housing act defined "slum" 
and "blight." Conditions frequently 

By the early 1950s, 
^slum clearance^ had become 
^ urban renewal/ 

noted in redevelopment proposals for years to 
come were based on these definitions. A slum was 
"any area where dwellings predominate, which, 
by reason of dilapidation, overcrowding, faulty 
management and design, lack of ventilation, light 
or sanitation facilities, or any combination of 
these factors, are detrimental to safety, health or 
morals." Blight, which could creep and infest 

Map of the urban renewal project area as it appeared in 
the Old Colony Memorial. 

what other economic options did the town 
have? How could the town increase its tax base 
to support the many services a town needed to 
provide in the postwar era? 

In 1946 the selectmen appointed a committee 
to survey the town's physical needs. The 
committee hired an outside consulting firm to 
help. The firm's report. The Plymouth Compact 
of 1949. noted a growing population of year- 
round residents, summer people and tourists and 
asserted that the town's antiquated facilities could 


Aerial view oj early clearing in the project area with the downtown post ojju e in the foreground. 

other areas, was the "product of changing urban 
land uses," such as commercial encroachment into 
residential areas. Blighted areas were considered 
potential slums. 

Title I of the 1949 federal housing act 
provided funds for redevelopment or slum 
clearance. Using eminent domain powers, 
municipalities could acquire and clear large tracts 
of land, frequently residential areas located near 
a central business district, and erect new housing 
that was not necessarily low-income. Backers 
saw many advantages — improved housing, 
slum clearance and greater tax revenues. There 
were no provisions to save old, possibly historic 

By the early 1950s, "slum clearance" had 
become "urban renewal." The 1954 federal 
housing act broadened urban renewal by 
encouraging business development through 
plans known as Workable Programs. A Workable 
Program had to contain a master plan with an 
administrative body and sufficient funding, code 
enforcement, an inventory of blight, evidence 
of "citizen participation" and a commitment to 
re-house residents displaced by redevelopment. 
Because the act encouraged private investment, 
public housing became one of many urban 
renewal tools, which could now include 
commercial and institutional projects. 

Both the 1949 and 1954 acts had major 
consequences for Plymouth's Summer-High 
street neighborhood just west of Town Square. 
Instead of limiting redevelopment of a blighted 
residential area to low-income housing, the 
two federal acts encouraged "best use." As a 
result, a redevelopment project could provide 

//; 1960, town officials accept a special certificate 
for the 1 ,000th Workable Program to be awarded for 
urban renewal under the federal housing act. 

more property tax revenue by replacing low- 
income apartments with a mixture of commercial 
development and middle-income rental housing. 

Boston's West End and the Summer-High 
street neighborhood in Plymouth are two 
examples of what happened. 

The 1949 Plymouth Compact suggested new 
uses for the Summer-High street neighborhood, 
an area with outdated, overcrowded dwellings 
and limited commercial use. It was a prime target 
for redevelopment. Plymouth had little chance 
of attracting new industry, the study committee 
concluded, and recommended that the town 
focus on developing tourism. Having a blighted 
neighborhood just 200 feet from historic Town 
Square was an embarrassment. Long ignored and 
isolated from modernization, the area did not 
fit contemporary needs: serving an increasing 
number of tourists, providing space for more 
automobiles and upgrading dwellings to meet the 
postwar ideal of an American home. Consultants 
recommended that the densely-built neighborhood 
be cleared and redeveloped. 

By 1957 the town voted to acquire 
properties in the Summer-High street area and 
demolish dilapidated buildings. Even without 
a comprehensive plan, the town demolished 18 
buildings on the first block of Summer and High 
streets. Early plans were to use the cleared land 
for parking. Unfortunately, the land proved too 
hilly and was deemed not close enough to the 
downtown business district. The cleared land 
lay fallow for many years. Because these early 
purchases were not part of an official renewal 
project, they were not properly documented. 
Sadly, many of these buildings on the north side 


Al Battista. left, who served as PRA executive director 
far most of the project, and Clifford Sampson, PRA 
chairman, who donated more than 10.000 volunteer 
hours to the urban renewal effort. 

of Summer Street had been built between 1690 
and 1725 and were among the town's oldest 

Realizing that the work in the area was stalled, 
the selectmen in December 1958 voted to form a 
rede\elopment authorit) to oversee the project. 
Under terms of federal law. the town established 
the Plymouth Redevelopment Authority (PRA) 
in 1959. Ralph L. Drew, a Plymouth Cordage Co. 
executive served as chairman of the initial five- 
member volunteer board. Other members were 
bank president William B. Edmands; Clifford 
E. Sampson, who managed Smith's, a popular 
downtown newspaper and souvenir shop; 
Howard P. Barnes, a retired engineer; and John 
P. R\an. an attorney. Edward Maccaferri joined 
the board in 1961 after Barnes resigned. Sampson 
became chairman in 1963 and served in that 
capacity for the duration of the project. 

With the help of an outside consultant, the 

PRA developed what was known 
as a Workable Program proposal to 
take advantage of funding provided 
under the federal housing act of 1949. 
The Housing and Home Finance 
Administration awarded the town a 
special certificate in the fall of 1960 
for the 1 ,000th Workable Program 
to be accepted nationwide. Linking 
renewal to the town's historic heritage, 
the award ceremony was held on the 
waterfront at a reconstruction of an 
early Pilgrim house. 

In 1961 the PRA board hired a 
small staff to administer the project. 

How ^blighted^ was the 
Summer-High street 

Al Battista was one of the early hires. After 
starting work as a relocation officer, Battista 
moved to assistant director and then served as 
executive director for most of the project. His 
background in architectural design proved to be 
particularly helpful. 

How "blighted" urn the Summer-High street 
neighborhood? It had long been perceived as 

Buildings at the corner of Market and Summer streets c. I960 prior to demolition. Cohen 's store at the right sat on 
the corner of Market and Hii>h streets. 


North side of Sandwich Street near the corner of Market as it appeared in the 1930s. All these buildings were 
demolished as part of the urban renewal project. 

Fifty -two units had no hot 
water^ and 10 had no 
private flush toilets. 

run down. "The truth is, much of Summer and 
High streets had gone beyond the point of recall 
even 40 years or more ago," wrote Old Colony 
Memorial editor Paul Bittinger in 1961 . "In those 
days the section had a certain snug and raffish 
charm fondly remembered by some of us," he 
wrote, and added: "Nonetheless, even in those 

halcyon days the section was run down and 
already beyond serious reclamation even on a 
private basis." 

The PRA hired another outside consultant 
to study land use and potential marketability. 
The study revealed the poor condition of the 
neighborhood, particularly with respect to 
contemporary standards of health and safety. 
There were 129 buildings on the 30.6-acre project 
site. Sixteen acres with 105 buildings, 84 of them 
residential, were slated for clearance. 

Many plumbing and heating facilities were 
found to be substandard. At least 143 units had 
no "safe central heating facilities" while a few 

Rose Cohen inside the family store at the corner of 
Market and High streets. After the building was 
demolished, the site became part of a parking lot 
behind the 1749 Courthouse Museum. 

had no heat at all. Battista who visited each house 
as a relocation officer, was "shocked to see the 
condition of the buildings, the poverty... seeing a 
mom with a little baby, it was so cold she had the 
baby pushed up to the oven door." 

Most homes were heated by kerosene stoves. 



The Rose and Andrew s families shown in the 
Andrews family home on Hi^ih Street in 1963 
shortly before the house was torn down. 

Local stores like Clough's Market and 
Cohen's sold kerosene for heating use. 
Not all of the houses were run-down, 
however. Those in the best condition 
were single-family homes or owner- 
occupied apartment buildings, many of 
which had central heating. 

Plumbing was not much better 
than heating. Fifty-two units had no 
hot water, and 10 had no private flush 
toilets. Bob Tibbetts, who lived on 
Russell Street in the 1940s, recalled his 
family having to heat water for baths. 
In spite of the often-poor facilities, most tenants 
did what they could to keep their houses clean 
and livable. In 1963, tenant Marjorie Amado 
Anderson wrote in a letter to the OCM, "My rent 
is $40 for no bath, no hot water, no gas or gas 
connections. However it is presentable, because I 
painted, wallpapered and did as much as I could 
to make it a home. " 

Dave Gonsalves, who started working as 


a postman in the area in 1955, said, 
"Everything was run down, all the houses 
looked the same, the shingles were rotting 
I - every one. Obviously people couldn't 
§ afford to paint their houses." In some 

respects, decline was a self-fulfilling 
> prophecy. Residents, particularly owners, 

1 heard about plans for renewal, and stopped 
putting money into their properties, causing 

them to look dilapidated. 
Ten had been abandoned 
altogether by 1962. A 
classic example was the 
Schroeder-Finney house at 
67-69 Summer St. Realtor 
Walter Schroeder owned the 
east half, and Effie Finney, 
a baker, had inherited the 
west half. The Finneys did 
not paint their half, and so 
the house was divided down 
the facade - one half kept 
up, the other dilapidated. 

When asked 40 years 
later if they recalled their 
neighborhood as a "slum," 
most former residents 
refuted the description. Certain areas, particularly 
those closest to Market Street, were bad, but others 
were not. "There were some houses that were 
pretty well beat up," former resident Frank Rose 
recalled. "I used to deliver papers, and certain 
houses I would go in and 1 would block my nose 
because the odor wasn't pleasant. . . but there were 
some very nice houses." He recalled the area 
farther west as being much better than that closer 

Chris Hussey and his father 
Alfred in their 46 Summer St. 
home many years before the 
building was spared from urban 
renewal destruction . 

to Market Street, describing some of those houses 
as "immaculate." Chris Hussey remembered 
that some of the old houses had "quite a musty 
smell. . .this was the smell that was endemic to 
the building. . .it was a patina, an aroma that was 
always there." A few others, like the house where 
Hussey grew up, had been rehabilitated in the 
1930s by the Plymouth Colony Trust. 

In spite of the poverty, residents felt safe. 
Sheila Clough Crifasi, whose family ran Clough's 
Market, returned to the area many years after 
the renewal project had been completed. When 
she and her husband looked at apartments in the 
newly-built Spring Hill complex, the manager 
related gleefully, "This area used to be a terrible 
slum!" Sheila sputtered with anger, and finally 
responded, "At least we could walk through the 
neighborhood at midnight and feel safe! Can you 
say that today?" However, many non-residents 
of the area were uncomfortable. One local doctor 
was heard to say that he would not answer a 
house call after dark in parts of the neighborhood 
without a police escort. 

The urban renewal project was presented at 
a special town meeting on Sept. 6, 1962, and 
approved with only a single dissenting vote. The 
project's objectives were to: 

• Clear "dilapidated, obsolete and decayed 

• Provide for new and improved streets, 
including widening and straightening; 

• Create new sites for housing and business, 
particularly retirement housing and a motel- 

• Improve parking in the area; 

• Extend Brewster Gardens Park along Town 
Brook to Jenney Pond, the site of the town's 
poor house; 

• Improve pedestrian walkways; 

• Improve public and private utilities; 

• Protect historic sites and buildings such as 
the Sparrow House and 1749 Courthouse; 

• Provide for conservation and relocation 

of private homes, particularly those in good 
condition along the south side of Summer 
Street and Willard Place. 

A few years later, town meeting again endorsed 
the project. 

Plymouth was overwhelmingly 
in favor of the project. 

To pay for the project, Plymouth benefited 
from new federal and state legislation. Towns 
with less than 50,000 people (Plymouth then had 
less than 20,000), could apply for 75 percent of 
the project costs, as well as relocation expenses, 
from the federal government. The project was to 
cost $1 ,916,689, with a federal contribution of 
$1,437,517. The state was slated to pay $239,586. 
Plymouth was responsible for only a quarter of 
all project costs, a combination of cash and land 
donations equaling $479,172. 

How did people respond to the proposed 
project? Preservation was an issue for a small 
group, including PRA member Howard Barnes. 
Barnes resigned when he realized that plans 

for the park along Town Brook included the 
demolition of the 150-year-old stone arch bridge 
over Market Street. Planners wanted to build a 
new, taller bridge with room for pedestrians to 
walk beneath. Early plans included 
the phasing out of Market Street 
altogether. Barnes carried out a one- 
man campaign against the project, 
writing letters to the Old Colony 
Memorial almost every week. 
"Market Street and the first crossing 
over Town Brook carry a long 
colonial history," Barnes wrote. "To 
me, the project has gone far afield 
from its primary objectives." 

In spite of Barnes' efforts, 
Plymouth was overwhelmingly in 
favor of the project. At the 1962 
town meeting that approved the 
plan, Barnes was the only dissenting 
vote. Some residents were 
enthusiastic about the prospect of 
a new hotel. "Wow, we were going 
to get a Holiday Inn," recalled John 
Reed, a youth at the time. "Who 
was going to protest?" Battista 
mused. "They were all renters. The 
property owners?... Probably some 
of them thought they were better 
off. Some of their buildings were 
worthless, [and] they were going to 
get some money [for them] ." 

Across the country, outcry 
against demolition from urban 
renewal projects was building, 
a fact that was not lost upon 

the PRA board. A scrapbook of newspaper 
clippings in the PRA office includes criticisms of 
redevelopment, such as John Crosby's article on 
New York City projects like Greenwich Village 

The Old Colony Dairy Bar, a long-time landmark at the corner of 
Sandwich Street and Main Street Extention across from the Old Colony 
Theater, and the cleared site showing the new Market Street bridge 
over Town Brook. 


The Ryder Home on High Street before the other hoii 
n ere torn down as part of the urban renewal project 

and Brooklyn Heights. "Usually, if you 
investigate a blighted area, you will discover 
it is the loveliest area in town," he wrote. The 
neighborhoods slated for renewal, with their 
old buildings, were "among the few places 
in town that are worth living ... Tomorrow's 
slums are called modem housing." 

By 1962, the preservation of a few historic 
structures had been included in Plymouth's 
plan. These included the Sparrow House 
at 40-42 Summer St., as well as the other 
property restored by the Plymouth Colony 
Trust. 46-48 Summer St. The well-maintained 
Ryder Home on the comer of Russell and 
High streets also was spared. 

Later, taking advantage of new, looser 
regulations in the housing acts, the planners 
slated the Kaplowitz house at 49 Summer St. 


to be moved across the street and 
restored. Once the 18th century home 
of merchant John Bishop, which had 
been built on property he purchased 
from Jabez Harlow, the house was 
unusual for Plymouth in that it 
had brick ends, each with a pair of 

Throughout the nation, the 
relocation of neighborhood residents 
in urban renewal projects became 
an issue. A city did not have to 
replace current housing with low- 
income housing. Across the nation, 
the poor were moved elsewhere 
so new housing could be built for 
other people. Some critics said it 

\treet as it appeared in the 1930s. Note how the houses abut 

was not a war on poverty, but rather a war on 
the poor. Since many of the poor who were 
forced to relocate were black, urban renewal was 
sometimes called "Negro removal." 
In Plymouth, many of the families who 

Urban renewal was sometimes 
called ^ Negro removal/ 

lived in the Summer-High street neighborhood 
had cause for concem. As one former resident 
recalled, "Most of the Cape Verdeans lived in the 
neighborhood, so the first question was, why are 
you hitting this area? Our house was taken, but 
all of the other houses around us, they were not 
people of color, but their houses 
were taken too." 

Both people of color and people 
with large families had a difficult 
time finding apartments. "For 
the families at the time it was 
traumatic," recalled Frank Rose, 
then a college student. "Many had 
large families, they were laborers, 
2 they didn't have a lot of money, 
p They were going to be displaced. 
J People don't like change. It was a 
8 question of where are we going to 
y go, how are we going to afford it?" 

Residents wrote the local 

1 newspaper, protesting that many 
J landlords would not rent to blacks. 

"If you want to do something good 
for mankind..." wrote resident 

Clearing the area between Market Street and Main Street Extention. 

Intersection of Sandwich Street and Main Street Extention, site of a Colonial Diner 
that was replaced by urban renewed with a Friendly's restaurant. 

Marjorie Amado Anderson to the local newspaper, 
"rent an apartment to someone on the basis of his 
reference, not his color." A group of concerned 
neighbors formed the Urban Tenant and Friends 
Association, led by Anderson, a long-time 
resident of the neighborhood. Members included 
other neighbors of Cape Verdean background, 
such as Mrs. Gloria Enabenter and Mrs. Lillian 
Thimas of Spring Street and Mrs. Theresa Rose of 
Edes Street. 

The PRA denied allegations of prejudice. The 
project was to displace 88 families, only 19 of 
whom were considered to be "colored." 

"Race was not the reason," said Battista. 
"The condition of some of the buildings was 
so terrible that they were unlivable." The 1962 
plan contained several pages of guidelines for 

relocation, based on Massachusetts' Minimum 
Standards for Fitness of Human Habitation. In 
fact, zoning in the redevelopment area included 
a 100-year anti-discrimination clause. The PRA 
hired two additional staff members to help find 
new homes for residents. Battista recalled that 

Demolition became a 
source of contention. 

Anderson "was on a crusade ... I felt for her, 
she had cause, I understood her cause, I couldn't 
understand why she was taking it out on us ... we 
were working like heck to help." 

With the project approved, the PRA obtained 
three appraisals for each property, to arrive at an 

amount to offer property owners. While angry that 
their homes were to be taken away, most accepted 
the appraised value. Only a few protested. Of 
1 15 takings, only 12 went to court. The first 
property was acquired in July 1963 - 61 Summer 
St., a mid- 19th-century home owned by Mrs. 
Margaret Hall. Later that month Mrs. Katherine 
Maynard, who had operated the Colonial Diner 
on Sandwich Street since 1941 , sold her land to 
the town - the first commercial property to be 
acquired. All properties not purchased by Nov. 1, 
1963 were acquired by eminent domain. 

While most of the south side of Summer 
Street was left untouched, the early 20th-century 
building at 50 Summer St. was slated for 
demolition - the town needed the space to widen 
Spring Street. The Dezorett family, who had 



hiiilcJings on High Street in 1965 just west of Market Street. 

At first, demolished buildings were burned on site, a practice later changed when 
neighbors complained about the smoke. 

The Cloughs stand niaside their Summer Street store 
next to a "going out of business" sign just before the 
building was demolished. 

owned the property since 1925, joined their 
neighbors in looking for a new place to live. Dave 
Dezorett's daughter Eunice remembered taking 
a photograph of her house prior to demolition to 
preserve the memory. "Although I was only 10, 1 
quickly learned what 'eminent domain' meant. It 
meant we didn't have any choice." 

The first house to be demolished, in January 
1964, was a 19th-century frame structure on 
Bass Place immediately south of Town Brook. 
Demolition became a source of contention. To 
save costs, the contractor had arranged with 
the PRA to burn the demolished buildings and 
rubbish on site. However, many tenants were still 
living in the area, renting from the town until new 

The interior of the C lough family store before its 
destruction as part of the urban renewal project. 


Town officials look on as a wrecking ball smashes into 
the Romano house at 1 Bass Place in January 1964, 
marking the beginning of site clearance for Plymouth 's 
urban renewal project. 

homes could be found. They protested the burning 
with its thick black smoke. Liz Walker looked 
out her window one day to see two nearby houses 
burning, dangerously close to her barn at 51 
Russell St. Eventually on-site burning stopped. 

The PRA advertised the sale of land in the 
Summer-High street area for the construction of 
new housing. Conscious of the anger of tenants, 
the plan gave preference to those who were 
displaced to occupy the new apartments, provided 
they could pay the rent. Preference was also given 
to former owners who wanted to purchase and 
develop the cleared land. A few owners pursued 
that option. George Bramhall purchased two 
houses that had belonged to his wife's family. 
Mary Allen Manion Bramhall had grown up at TI- 
TS Summer St. Her parents, Paul and Annie Loft 
Manion, owned several properties. The Bramhalls 
purchased 71-73, the old Russell house, of 

Federal period style, and 75-77, a colonial 
building, and negotiated to move them across the 
street onto the lot where Clough's Market stood. 
The Bramhalls agreed to renovate the apartment 
buildings according to current building code. 

The PRA also offered any of the houses to be 
cleared for sale. Besides the two Manion buildings, 
another building from the second block of Summer 
Street, the Schroeder- Finney house, did find a 
new home. The First Parish Church purchased 
the building and moved it to Church Street, to 
be joined with an old chapel building that had 
formerly stood just off Town Square for use as a 
parish center. Sadly, few took advantage of the 
offer to buy an old building and move it elsewhere. 
Possibly people were intimidated at the prospect of 
jacking up a building and moving it. 

Redevelopment was not only hard on families, 
but businesses as well. Small businesses were 
particularly hard-hit. A Wall Street Journal article 
estimated that nationwide 15 to 20 percent of 
small businesses never reopened after being 
displaced, particularly those owned by older 
people. An example of this was Clough's Market. 
After 92 years in operation, the Cloughs vacated 
their store in 1965, never to reopen. Debbie 
Cohen, daughter of Harris and Rose, reopened a 
smaller version of Cohen's Store on Sandwich 
Street south of the project area. The new store 
only lasted a few years. Other businesses, like 
Wood's Seafood Market, successfully relocated 
and were still operating in the 21st century. 

The PRA encouraged former business owners 
to relocate in the new project area. The only 
one to successfully bid on and acquire land in 
the project area was Morris Bloom. In spite of 

Clearing the site between Summer and High streets for 
the construction of the Spring Hill apartments. 

competition from two larger firms. Bloom bid on 
a parcel on Market Street adjacent to where the 
former People's Market once stood. In spite of 
difficulty securing a loan and finding a supplier, 
he opened a new, modern IGA grocery store in 


An unusual feature of Plymouth's urban 
renewal project was the moving and restoration 
of the Harlow-Bishop house, but that phase 
of the project almost did not happen. By July 
1965 PRA staff realized that the federal grant 
did not provide funding to move or restore the 
house. Furthermore, owner David Kaplovvitz 
was angered by the loss of his family home, 
and would not agree with the PRA on a 
sale price. Construction workers were 
beginning to widen Summer Street, and the 
house, at 49 Summer St.. was in the way. 
Moving and restoring the house seemed 

However, one warm afternoon that July, 
a summer resident, Mrs. Eric Wentworth, 
and her children drove from their summer 
home off Warren Avenue into town to mail 
a letter. She overheard a woman protesting 
the destruction of an elm tree near one of 
the houses being demolished. She went to 
investigate and heard about the imminent 
demolition of the Harlow-Bishop house. 
"Gi\ e me a week to save this house," she 
requested of the PRA. 

Mrs. Wentworth, who was widely 
known as "Muffie," was not only 
extremely capable, she was also well 
connected. A resident of Washington, 
D.C., she understood the legislative process 
and was also a personal friend of Massachusetts 
Sen. Edward Kennedy. Wentworth's first action 

was to try to change federal legislation to 
help save the house. She and Battista flew to 
Washington to meet with HHFA commissioner 
William Slayton and impress upon him the 
need to secure federal funding to move the 
historically significant house. Slayton reviewed 
the regulations and determined that the current 
legislation did not provide for moving or 

The Harlow-Bishop House at 49 Summer St. as it appeared before 
being moved across the street and restored. At the time, the house 
was owned by David Kaplowitz, who eventually agreed to sell it to 
the PRA for $13,500. 

restoration. He suggested that they contact Sen. 
Kennedy to propose an amendment to the 1 949 
housing act. 

Wentworth contacted Kennedy, a Democrat, 
who, along with Texas Sen. John Tower, a 
Republican, proposed to change the law. 
Their amendment passed in record time. The 
Kennedy-Tower amendment to the housing 
act allowed for "relocating within the project 
area a structure which the local public agency 
determines to be of historic value and which will 
be disposed of to a public body or a private 
nonprofit organization which will renovate 
and maintain such structure for historic 

Since the government would only 
fund moving the house, Wentworth then 
established the Plymouth Heritage Trust 
to restore and maintain the house. The 
purposes of the trust were to "preserve and 
protect buildings of historic significance 
in Plymouth and their sites and settings... 
and promote public welfare, combat 
neighborhood deterioration and lessen 
the burdens of government. . ." The Trust 
set out to raise $10,000 of the $27,000 
to restore the house from local residents. 
More than 50 local residents participated in 
the Trust's fund-raising efforts. Wentworth 
raised an additional $8,000 herself, and 
planned to raise the rest from foundations. 
The house was moved across Summer 
Street to a cleared parcel, once occupied 
by an early 18th-century house. Thanks to 
Wentworth's quick work, Kaplowitz made 


PRA Chairman Clifford Sampson, left, accepting the 
keys to the Harlow-Bishop House from Mrs. Mabel 
"Muffie" WentVt'orth. right, as Sen. Edward Kennedy 
looks on . 

a final offer to the PRA to sell the house for 
$13,500. Kaplowitz maintained that the price 
was "a settlement, not as (a) concession that is 
all the property is worth." While it was $3,000 
more than HUD had approved, the PRA board 
decided to accept his offer, considering all of the 
work and publicity that had gone into the effort 
to save the house. 

The Trust then established a restoration 
committee to serve as consultants. To ensure 
the use of authentic materials and keep salvage 
material in Plymouth, Wentworth urged that 
fittings be recycled from other houses in the 
area. The restoration plans included the use of 
as much original fabric as possible, such as the 
brick supporting arches in the cellar. Plans also 

reflected the modem building code, including 
steel girders and a concrete slab floor in the 
cellar. The sloping rear yard was terraced. As 
befitting modern attitudes toward privacy, the 
house was set back several feet from the street, 
unlike the other early houses adjacent. 

With restoration complete, the PRA turned 
the house over to the Plymouth Heritage Trust 
for $1 on Nov. 9, 1966. The Trust rented part 
of the house to a family, who helped with 
maintenance, and the other part to the Plymouth 
County Visiting Nurses Association. 

Urban renewal carried out under the 1949 
housing act caused a national outcry as 
thousands of old, often historic, buildings were 
knocked down. Due to the terms of the 1949 
act, replacing buildings was the only way at that 
time to improve a neighborhood. The housing 
act of 1964 changed that, providing 
federal loans to rehabilitate houses. 

"The rehab came about later on as 
a result of projects like ours," Battista 
recalled. "I think Plymouth was one of the 
towns instrumental in getting Congress 
to vote the act into place... I believe 
we were one of the first agencies to use 
what they called a HUD section 312 
low-interest loan and used those on some 
of the properties that remained in the 
area." Plymouth's 1962 plan had set aside 
several of the houses on the south side of 
Summer Street and all of Willard Place. 
The new act allowed for low-interest 
loans for home and business owners y-^^ 
to renovate their structures. Several Summer 

homeowners on Summer and Willard streets 
took advantage of these funds. 

Another example of restoration as a part 
of the urban renewal project was the 1 749 
Courthouse in Town Square, formerly used as 
Plymouth's town hall. Historian Allan Russell 
and businessman Harold Boyer proposed asking 
lawyers across the country to give $1 each 
toward the preservation of America's oldest 
wooden courthouse. When they only raised 
$600, PRA chairman Clifford Sampson and 
Russell petitioned HUD for the remainder of the 
funding through the Kennedy-Tower legislation. 
The restored courthouse, listed in the National 
Register of Historic Places, opened as a town- 
operated museum in 1970 and continued as such 
into the 21st century. 

low-Bishop House being moved in 1965 down 
Street to its new location . 


Urban renewal completed 

Karin Goldstein 

The last parts of the 1962 urban renewal plan 
were completed by 1970. less than 10 years 
after the project was approved. When the dust 
settled, residents were left with a very different 
townscape than the one they had known. While 
much of the south side of Summer Street and 
Willard Place remained the same, the north side 
of Summer from Market Street to beyond Edes 
Street was unrecognizable. High Street was no 
longer, and Church and Spring streets had been 
converted to pedestrian walkways. The south 
side of Sandwich Street was cleared of buildings, 
improving the view of the Town Brook, and most 
of the north side was occupied by a Friendly 's 

Once the 105 buildings had been demolished, 
street improvements began. Changes to 
infrastructure were complete by 1966, including 
a new, taller bridge at Market Street over 
Town Brook that allowed pedestrian passage 
underneath. Summer Street was widened, with 
utilities installed underground, including water, 
sewage and gas lines. Grading included leveling 
the crown of High Street and filling in Edes 
Street. The steep slope of Spring Hill was fenced 
at the top. 

The largest feature of the project was the 
Spring Hill apartment complex, originally slated 
as housing for middle-income residents. The 
SI .5 million project was bid on by a New York 


company, which built 125 two- and three-story 
garden apartments in eight units on what used 
to be the second and third blocks of Summer 
Street, as well as High and Edes streets. The 
new apartments were seen as one of the most 
financially successful aspects of the project, 
bringing an estimated $60,000 in annual property 
tax revenue to the town. The firm constructed 

Morns Bloom '.s new building between Main Street 
Extension and Market Street nears completion. It 
replaced People's Market and included a new IGA 
grocery store. The downtown post office building is in 
the left background. 

a combination of one-and two-bedroom 
apartments, with initial rents of $120 to $150 per 
month (at least four times previous rents in the 
neighborhood). The first units opened in 1967, 
with modern conveniences like electric kitchens, 
outlets for televisions, wall-to-wall carpeting, 
laundry facilities, insulated windows and 

janitorial service. The modern floor plan featured 
public spaces like living rooms and dining rooms 
at the front, with private spaces for bedrooms at 
the rear. Tenants were attracted from the Boston 
and Plymouth areas. Cape Cod, and as far away as 
New York and Connecticut. 

Contemporary ideas about planning were 
evident in the redevelopment plan's regulations. 
To correct the historic overcrowding in 
the neighborhood, the plan stipulated that 
houses could be zoned as one- or two-family 
structures, with no more than four units per acre. 
Apartments could have 12 dwelling units per 
acre (formerly the average density for most of 
the neighborhood). Height was limited to 25 feet, 
with a minimum of 20 feet between buildings (not 
always realized in the old neighborhood). In an 
area known for scarcity of parking, there was to 
be one space per dwelling unit. Zoning limitations 
were strict - residential use was prohibited in 
commercial areas. Buildings were to be built or 
moved for specific uses, and future use was not to 
change these stipulations. 

The first block of Summer and High streets 
had been designated for a tourist hotel. The town 
needed a large hotel for visitors, and the location 
was convenient to Plymouth Rock and the historic 
area. The original bidder, T. Clark Hallisey, had 
proposed opening a Holiday Inn. Hallisey and the 
PRA negotiated over number of units and height 

The Spring Hill apartments, left, largest Jeanne oj the urban renewal projeet - 125 two-aiul three-story garden 
apartments in eight units on what used to he the second and third blocks of Summer Street. At right is the Ryder 
Home on High Street with a Spring Hill apartment unit in the background. 

but eventually opened the motel. Unfortunately 
it went bankrupt in 1970 and was auctioned 
off. Later, it was purchased by the Catania 
Hospitality Group of Cape Cod, which reopened 
the building and later renamed it the John Carver 
Inn. It included a Hearth and Kettle restaurant, 
specializing in traditional New England food, 
from clam chowder to grape-nut pudding. 

Morris Bloom's new building, between Main 
Street Extension and Market Street, was completed 
in 1966 and opened with a first-floor IGA grocery 
store and offices on the second floor. The site also 
included a large public parking area. According to 
Bloom, he was encouraged to have local architect 
David Crawley design the structure. In spite of 
Crawley's preferences for modem architecture, as 
evidenced by his cube-shaped home off Warren 
Avenue south of downtown, his design for Bloom's 
building made some concessions to the area's 
history. Not only was the store built in the "early 
American brick" style, according to Bloom, but the 
round arched windows were designed to reflect the 
Norman arches of the First Parish Church just up 
Market Street at Town Square. 

The three structural groups - apartments, 
hotel and business building - shared a generic 
"Williamsburg" style of colonial architecture. 
While not necessarily a conscious influence on the 
PRA. the then-popular Williamsburg image was 
frequently seen nationally in new construction, 
both in urban renewal projects and along new 
highways. As architecture critic Ada Louise 
Huxtable noted, "We tear down those genuine and 
often strikingly handsome monuments while we 
build meaningless reproductions of the domestic 
and official 18th century." According to Battista, 
the PRA certainly had a colonial aesthetic in 
mind. The Spring Hill apartments, he said, were 
built in "colonial design faced with warm brick," 
with cedar shingles, a popular local material, on 
the facade. "We tried to match what was there," 
Battista recalled. 

Actually, brick was rarely seen in the Plymouth 
area. Indeed, examples such as the Harlow-Bishop 
House with its brick ends were unusual enough 
to be notable. However, the late 19th century 
commercial structures at Town Square were brick, 
and the PRA encouraged use of the material. 

Like the Spring Hill apartments and Bloom's 
grocery store, the hotel was built of brick, with a 
hip-roofed columned portico and balustrade more 
reminiscent of a southern plantation house than 
a New England structure. Battista made three 
trips to Nashville to review the Holiday Inn's 
designs for the new hotel. He was disappointed 
that they built a typical rectangular box, adding 
an inappropriate portico as a sop to "colonial" 
design. In trying to modernize the neighborhood 
and make it appealing to both new residents and 
tourists, the PRA succeeded in removing a vast 
amount of the area's historic character. 

The last part of the project to be completed 
was the Town Brook park and redevelopment of 
the Jenney Pond area. The park was designed by 
the same consultants who produced the Plymouth 
Compact of 1949. A gravel path led from the 
Brewster Garden park, built in the 1920s, all 
the way to Jenney Pond. A scenic bridge carried 
pedestrians across Jenney Pond to the turnaround 
at the foot of Willard Place. The former site of 
the 1826 almshouse became a parking lot. While 
the PRA had several ideas for reusing the old but 
still-stable brick structure, there were no takers. 
Battista recalled having tears in his eyes when the 
building was demolished. "The almshouse — that 
almost makes me cry — it was a beautiful brick 
building, straight and square," Battista said. 
"We tried to get the library to come in. We had 
grant money, we needed a new library, there was 
plenty of parking. But we had no takers. . .it was a 
beautiful building." 

Likewise, the PRA tried to reuse the Bradford 
Kyle wire mill, located on Town Brook at 
the former site of the Jenney Grist Mill. Cliff 


Sampson recalled that they offered the Jenney 
Pond site for several uses, including as a medical 
building. The planners designated that it be used 
as a tearoom and a craft shop. Unfortunately, 
project engineers found that it had been weakened 
b\ pro\imit\ to the w ater. PRA board member 
Ralph Drew thought that a replica of the old grist 
mill would be a good addition to the area. As 
no one knew what the original mill looked like, 
Battista visited working gristmills, particularly in 
Pennsylvania. Using his drafting skills, he worked 
with owner David DeLory to design a wood and 
stone structure that featured a working mill. The 
mill opened to the public in 1969. 

A combination of government-funded 
planning and the need to stimulate tourism caused 
the transformation of a 300-year-old neighborhood. 
The project w as finished in just over 10 years, from 
the initial demolition prior to adoption of the Work- 
able Plan, to the completion of the reproduction 
gri.stmill. By the late 1960s dozens of older, mostly 
run-down multi- and single-family homes built over 
three centuries had been replaced by a modem brick 
apartment complex. Low - and middle- income 
families were displaced. The new apartments with 
the latest modem conveniences attracted middle-in- 
come residents. Steep roads like Spring Street were 
made into footpaths, and hilly land at the top of 
High Street was graded. The overall space devoted 
to housing was reduced, with emphasis given to 
commercial establishments like hotels, restaurants 
and a grocery store as well as to parking and open 
space. The Summer-High street neighborhood, two 
blocks from Plymouth Rock, was reworked into a 
mixed residential and tourist area. 

At the end of the 20th century, most Plymouth 

The gristmill at Jenney Pond, which replaced the 
Bradford Kyle wire mill. It opened to the public 
in 1 969 with a shop and restaurant, marking the 
completion of the urban renewal project. 

residents were not aware of any other landscape, 
but 40 years after the project began, the forced 
sale and demolition of 105 buildings still caused 
fury and resentment among those who had lived 
there. "Urban renewal in America's hometown 
was un-American," said one former resident, 
whose mother-in-law lost her home on Spring 
Street to eminent domain. Sheila Clough Crifasi 
remained indignant about the price paid to her 
parents for the family store. "It infuriates me to 
think my parents went into their old age thinking 
they were financially prepared," she said at an 
early 21st century neighborhood reunion. "Look 
at the value of the houses that are still there 
compared to the $2,000 they gave my mother for 
the business and the property and six garages." 
Others disliked the new architecture. "Every time 
1 drive by, it jars me," said John Reed, who grew 

up on Bass Place, one of the byways that didn't 
survive urban renewal. Maggie Mills, a long-time 
OCM reporter who grew up on High and Russell 
streets, and loved old houses, believed that "they 
massacred the town. But they didn't care, because 
we had no money coming in." "If they'd just 
restored the old houses," Morry Bloom mused, "it 
would be a tourist attraction." 

But PRA members remained proud of their 
efforts. As Cliff Sampson pointed out, the project 
was one of the first small-town renewal projects 
in America. "We were the first in the country 
to get the OK to put the utilities underground - 
telephone, electric and gas ... we built new roads, 
a new bridge, strengthened the economy with new 
tax money, and put some people to work. . .If we 
did it now, I would hope that we could restore." 
According to Battista, many of the houses that 
were demolished probably could have been 
rehabilitated, "but the tools were not there at the 
time. The tools came later, as a result of what we 
were doing ..." 

While not the approach to neighborhood 
planning people would take years later, the 
redeveloped area does work. At the beginning of 
the 2 1 St century, locals and tourists alike enjoy 
Dunkin' Donuts in Morris Bloom's grocery 
store building, as well as the Hearth and Kettle 
Restaurant at the John Carver Inn. And on 
summer days. Spring Hill Apartment residents 
enjoy playing frisbee on the manicured lawns. 
A combination of zoning and restrictive covenants 
helped keep the area from reverting to blighted 


Nuclear power in Plymouth 

Robert Knox 

On Jan. 5, 1967, a full-page headline celebrated 
the good news: "Plymouth gets $65 million 
nuclear plant." Boston Edison's nuclear power 
plant, the Old Colony Memorial's 
front page noted in bullet-point 
subheads, was expected to "bring 
sharp property tax reductions, 
strongly attract industry [and] add 
to Plymouth's national image." 
Another subhead even put a figure 
on the property tax gain to be 
expected from the good news: 
"Probable Tax Reduction - $34!" 

That figure probably 
underestimated the tax break local 
taxpayers would realize, but little 
else was undersold in the initial 
euphoria over the local site of a 
nuclear power plant, to be called 
Pilgrim Station. It was to be built 
on the seashore off Rocky Hill Road 
just east of the Pine Hills and was to 
be the biggest construction project 
ever slated for Plymouth. At a time 
when the town's total property valuation was $50 
million, the new plant came close to matching that 
figure by itself. The construction costs came to 
more than $200 million. 


Thousands of workers, many if not most of 
them from Texas, flooded the town for months to 
build the fission reactor. They erected a concrete 

Plymouth gets $65 million nuclear plant 

in a less cynical time than later in the century, 
especially regarding nuclear power. Ballyhooed 
by the federal government's "Atoms for Peace" 
program, nuclear power would be 
"too cheap to meter," boosters said. 
It required no fossil fuels to spew 
pollution into the air. The town 
fathers, backed by town meeting, 
accepted the assurances of Boston 

Expected In: 

• Brin; >liarp properly tax retluclion 

• Strongly allrat-l industry, business 

• Add tu Plytnoutli's national ima^e 

Pmbable Tax 
Reduction— S3i: 

Offieial cfimment: 

• i.itn^. Keith — "Best thing eyer . . ." 

• Rep. John Armstrong— "Pm delighted 

• Hoard of Selectmen — "Wow . . . !" 

Front page of the Old Colony Memorial onnoiincing in 1967 that a nuclear power plant 
would he built in Plymouth. 

plant on site to produce the tons of concrete used 
in the containment structures. People drove down 
to Rocky Point to watch the construction. 

The decision to build a boiling water nuclear 
reactor on Plymouth's Rocky Point took place 

Edison executives, as the OCM put 
it, "that the plant will be foolproof 
and present no risk in point of 
radioactive contamination of air or 

Sound American science backed 
by good technology would yield 
social goods as well. The plant, to 
quote the local newspaper's story 
once again, "conjured visions of 
a low, low tax rate sure to attract 
business and industry, and with 
them bring prosperity to the whole 
area." Nuclear power was seen 
as especially important to New 
England, which lacked fuel sources of its own and 
was dependent on imports. 

While the town's embrace of its big new 
industrial benefactor may seem dewy-eyed, the 
economic conditions of the time go a long way to 


explaining Plymouth's eagerness to dance with 
atoms. In the late 1960s. Plymouth was suffering 
from the demise of its downtown woolen mills 
and the recent closing of the Plymouth Cordage 
Co. in North Ph mouth. People employed by 
the Mabbett or Puritan mills were out of work. A 
giant new industn. investing tens or hundreds of 
millions of dollars in the town was an unexpected 
economic bonanza of almost unimaginable 

"We were still trying to recover from the 
loss of the cordage company." recalled former 
selectman Alba Thompson in a Boston Globe 
stop, more than three decades later, "and the loss 
of all the other mills. Standish. the Mabbett. The 

employment prospects had enormous appeal in 

"Plymouth was a working class town in the 
century's earlier decades," she said, "and most 
residents had their eyes on making a living." 

^We were still trying 
to recover from the loss of the 
cordage company/ 

And much of the town was sparsely populated. 
According to David Tarantino, a former selectman 
who went to work for Pilgrim in community 

relations in the 1980s. "Down here in Manomet 
it was all summer people. After Labor Day the 
shutters went down." Farther south, "the little 
village of Cedarville," consisted mostly of 

Boston Edison was looking for a site along 
the seashore with a low population density, a 
hinterlands, and found what it needed in the 200- 
acre Greenwood estate along Rocky Hill Road. A 
nuclear power plant appeared to be a good deal. 
Nuclear power was clean and neat, according to 
its early notices, with no pollution and no threat to 
the environment. "Wastes will be tucked away," 
as the OCM put it, and have no contact with the 
sea. Since water used to cool the fuel elements 
would then be returned to the sea, some summer 
residents reportedly were hopeful the process 
would raise the temperature of the chilly offshore 
waters for purposes of bathing. No such luck, said 
Edison engineers, who took pains to explain the 
water interchange would have no effect on the 

Pilgrim was to be a boiling water reactor: heat 
given off by fission in the nuclear fuel boils sea 
water into steam, which turns generators capable 
of producing 650,000 kilowatts of electricity. The 
same water is then used to cool the fuel elements. 

The plant pumps in 315,000 gallons of sea 
water every minute. The reactor vessel itself, 
concealed within its containment layers, is 66 
feet tall, and fueled by 580 fuel bundles, each 
containing 62 fuel rods that hold pellets of 
uranium. Refueling takes place every two years. 

There was one fly in the ointment for locals, 
however. While a necessary zoning change from 
rural residential to industrial sailed through town 


Local opposition to nuclear power generally and Pilgrim Station in particular ebbed and ilowed 
over the years. At first, the plant was greeted with widespread approval and only limited local 
opposition. After what Pilgrim spokesman David Tarantino admitted was the Three Mile Island 
"public relations disaster" for nuclear power nationally, local opposition increased. "It took a long 
time for the industry to recover," Tarantino said. 

Frequent public opinion polls commissioned by the Pilgrim Station owners indicated that 
opponents usually were limited to a small but vocal minority, Tarantino said. 

One of the most vocal and visible was Pilgrim Watch, "a grassroots organization" headed by 
Mary "Pixie" Lampert of Duxbury. Pilgrim Watch opposed the re-licensing of the plant, called 
for added plant security, safer storage of spent radioactive fuel rods and improved emergency 
planning and evacuation plans. 

By the end of the 20th century, much of the opposition focused on the on-site storage of the 
spent fuel rods in an above-ground pool, what former selectman Alba Thompson labeled a "nuclear 
waste dump." Pilgrim Watch advocated safer storage solutions but because the federal government 
controlled plans for nuclear plant waste disposal, "that's more of a political than a nuclear power 
issue," Tarantino said. 

— lohn Chaffee 


^ Cape Cod Bay 

The Pilgrim Station site off Rocky Hill Road as it appeared late in the 20th century. 

meeting, and few voices were raised about safety 
or environmental worries, one lifestyle change 
provoked comment. To spare excess traffic along 
Rocky Hill Road, Edison built its own access road 
from State Road, Route 3A, and the state required 
a traffic light at the access road's intersection with 
Rocky Hill Road. 

"People were mad about that," Tarantino 
recalled. "They were hot. Everybody in Manomet 
was saying we don't want to stop at those 

The sea moss industry at Rocky Point was also 
affected, and Edison made a settlement with a 
local business owner for loss of business. That 
industry failed altogether in Plymouth when 
a cheaper alternative to the food additive was 

When the plant opened in December 1972, 
town officials were disappointed to learn that 
few local residents would be gaining permanent 
employment. Most of the jobs were specialized. 

The plant opened with little 
more than 100 employees, 

with technical requirements. Employee numbers 
varied widely over the years. The plant opened 
with little more than 100 employees, Tarantino 
said. A better appreciation of maintenance needs 
brought that number quickly up, all the way to 
1 ,700, including outside contractors. Pilgrim had 
1 ,100 employed on its restart after a long layoff 
in 1988; early in the 21st century the number was 
540, not including plant security. 

The plant's economic impact went beyond 
fulltime employees to contractors and vendors, 
to the money spent locally by workers, and to an 
appreciable effect on tax rate. 

Early in the 21st century, after 30-plus years 
since its opening and with time running out on the 
original 40-year license, some local voices said 
the plant's benefits came with a hidden price tag. 
Of all the factors the town's citizens didn't think 
about in 1967 - the potential safety risks posed by 
human error or equipment malfunction, the on- 

site storage of radioactive nuclear waste Pilgrim's 
owners had no way to get rid of - one of the 
plant's hidden costs, those observers contended, 
was the spur it gave to the town's population 
growth. The economic advantage of low taxes, 
the argument went, brought with it the cost of 
providing services for more people. 

"Everyone was forgetting we had vast parcels 
of land to be developed," said Ken Tavares, a 
longtime selectman, in a 2002 Boston Globe 
story. Low taxes in the short-run, officials pointed 


Cut-away view oj the nuclear pow L i rau ior tit Pilgrim Station. The 
reactor vessel is housed inside a primary containment, 50 inches of 
steel-reinforced concrete. The reactor building, also of steel-reinforced 
concrete, serxes as a secondary containment. 

out during the deregulation crisis of the last 
decade of the 20th centur> . led to high taxes in the 
long run. 

"There was a lot of development," Tavares 
said. "It was the time of the white flight out of 
Boston. TTie community was really growing 
and it had to provide added services - police, 

fire, DPW, street lights" - and, of 
course, schools for new residents' 
children. Real estate ads of the time, 
Tavares recalled, invited prospective 
new residents to take advantage of 
Plymouth's low tax rate. 

Tarantino, like Tavares a 
Plymouth native, offered a different 
take on the town's growth. "When 
I was a little kid we used to sit on 
our front porch on the old Route 3 - 
later 3A - and watch the tremendous 
backlog of traffic to and from the 
Cape. In the summer it would just 
go bumper to bumper." Restaurants, 
stores and service stations "made 
their living" from this traffic, 
Tarantino noted. 

But construction of a new Route 
3 linking Boston to Cape Cod and 
bypassing the old state route through 
downtown Plymouth changed all 
that. It was the highway, rather than 
Pilgrim Station, that brought the 
exodus of the city to the cheap land 
in Plymouth, Tarantino said: "Land 
was selling for $100 an acre." A 
family friend advised him to take 
his college tuition money and buy 
land along Route 44 in West Plymouth "because 
this town is going to have a housing boom. Of 
course," he concluded, "I was smarter than that. I 
went to college." 

But while Pilgrim didn't, at least by itself, 
bring the people down to Plymouth, it helped 
the town pay for the infrastructure expansions 

they needed - fire stations, roads, schools. "It 
really helped us get through that difficult time," 
said Tarantino, who served as a selectman then. 
During the 1970s, taxes on Pilgrim paid for about 
half the town's annual budget. 

In the mid-1970s, while south Plymouth was 
still sparsely settled, and the still-new power plant 
enjoyed a good relationship with the town, Edison 
announced plans to build a second nuclear reactor 
- Pilgrim II, to be larger than the first. "Everybody 
was really very excited about that," said 
Tarantino. "We were envisioning Mercedes-Benz 
highway trucks." While Pilgrim I had cost more 
than $200 million to build, the cost for Pilgrim II 
was pegged at closer to $2 billion. 

Between that dream, and its expensive 

Edison announced plans to 
build a second nuclear 
reactor^ Pilgrim II 

abandonment, came the Three Mile Island nuclear 
accident in 1979, a partial core meltdown of a 
nuclear power plant in Pennsylvania and a public 
relations disaster for the entire nuclear power 
industry. A combination of increased costs to meet 
new safety standards and the public's awakened 
skepticism over the safety of nuclear power plants 
doomed plans for new reactors such as Pilgrim II. 
When the project was cancelled in 1981 . Boston 
Edison turned to utility regulators to recoup tens 
of millions of dollars in planning costs. Rate 
payers objected, and a lengthy court battle ensued. 


Things changed for Pilgrim I as well. "After 
Three Mile Island the industry had to change 
dramatically," Tarantino said. Despite the 
technical emphasis on redundancy in safety 
systems, plant designers "had underestimated 
the human factor," he said. The federal Nuclear 

^7/7 nuclear plants^ attention to 
safety is more difficult - and 
more critical/^ 

Regulatory Commission placed new emphasis on 
the training of operators and mechanics, asking 
them to understand not only their own functions 
but how systems worked together. Pilgrim's 
owner, however, was "a little reluctant to move 
into that area," Tarantino said. 

After an unplanned shutdown was triggered 
in 1986 by an automatic safety system, federal 
regulators intervened. Before the plant could 
restart, the NRC told ownership, it would need 
the agency's permission. Regulators blamed 
management for the plant's troubles. In a story on 
regulators' review of the company's management 
shortcomings, the Boston Globe reported: 
"Edison executives have failed over the last 14 
years to understand how running a nuclear reactor 
like Pilgrim differs from running their coal and oil 
plants. Nuclear Regulatory Commission officials 
concluded after a recent, in-depth review. In 
nuclear plants, attention to safety is more difficult 
- and more critical." 

The NRC required substantial improvements 
in the plant's material condition, training for 

its operators and mechanics, and new safety 
enhancement programs. Edison opened a training 
center in Chiltonville, brought in a new chief 
administrator, nuclear naval officer Ralph Bird, 
to give the training programs credibility, and 
stayed off line for 32 months before restarting in 
December 1988. Bird was followed as Pilgrim's 
chief administrator by another former naval 
officer, George Davis, who once commanded the 
Navy's surface forces. 

It was during that period when, in Tarantino's 
phrase, "Pilgrim was in the ditch with the NRC," 
that local criticism of the plant's management 

and concern over potential dangers posed by 
nuclear reactors reached a crescendo. The bad 
publicity redoubled, as Pilgrim appeared on lists 
of poorly run nuclear power plants. Pilgrim was 
named "one of the worst-run nuclear plants in the 
country by NRC," the local press reported. Ralph 
Nader, a well-known nuclear power critic, called 
it the ninth worst in the country. 

New terms were added to the local lexicon as 
critics took a closer look at the plant's operation: 
"fuel rods, spent fuel pool, dry cask storage, 

The industry had set itself up for a reaction 

The control room at Pilgrim Station as it appeared at the end of the 20th century. It was staffed around the clock 
by licensed reactor operators, a senior reactor operator, a watch engineer and licensed administrative support 


after Three Mile Island. Tarantino said, by 
assuring people that "nothing can go wrong." 
While the extent of the risk may be "overblown" 
toda\ . he said in a 2006 interview, the truth is 
"there is some risk." 

The Union of Concerned Scientists declared 
that the Mark I steel and concrete box that shelters 
the reactor at Pilgrim was "flawed" and "the 
weakest of the containment system designs." 
Local officials joined the ranks of the critics. Alba 
Thompson, then a selectman, questioned why the 
Plymouth board was taking part in emergency 
drills since weaknesses from previous years were 
not fixed. The plant's federal master, the NRC, 
became a frequent target of local skepticism as 
well. "They have a lovely ability to pooh-pooh 
even, body else." Thompson said of the NRC in 
a Patriot Ledger story . "They are operating in a 
rarefied atmosphere that breeds a mistrust of the 

In December 1988. with the plant finally about 
to reopen after a 32-month shutdown, protesters 
w ere arrested at Pilgrim for trespass in a planned 
act of civil disobedience. Led by Ann Waitkus- 
Amold. 17 of the protestors refused plea-bargain 
deals and went to court to make the case that the 
plant was unsafe, planning to argue they made 
their protest as a last resort to keep an unsafe 
plant from restarting. But the judge threw out the 
cases against them, depriving the protesters of a 
courtroom forum. 

The decade of the 1990s saw nonbinding 
referendums against new plants and in favor of 
shutting old plants. A demonstration in 1991 saw 
1 1 protesters arrested. Local critics contended, 
and an .NRC inspector general eventually 

agreed, that false data on emergency planning in 
Plymouth had been given to the NRC. FEMA, 
the federal emergency mangement agency that 
would fail New Orleans in the wake of Hurricane 

Protesters were arrested 
at Pilgrim for trespass 
in a planned act of civil 

Katrina a decade and a half later, required an extra 
"remedial" emergency drill in 1990, but the table- 
top drills - no matter how many of them, or how 
well they were performed - failed to satisfy critics 
of emergency plans. The plans remained a source 
of local dissatisfaction with the NRC's oversight 
of plant safety into the early 2 1 st century when 
the issue re-emerged as the new owners of Pilgrim 
sought a license extension. 

Edison responded to its time of troubles by 
putting hundreds of millions of dollars into new 
mechanical systems and replacement parts. It 
installed a direct Torus vent in 1990 to release 
heat in an emergency and cleanse it of radioactive 
particles before ventilating to the outside. The 
cost was $50 million, but critics argued the 
system would save the reactor's machinery but 
release radiation to the surrounding community 
- a claim industry scientists disputed. 

After the plant went back on line, local 
activists took the case against Pilgrim to Edison's 
annual shareholders' meeting, hoping to convince 
shareholders to close the plant. They argued that 

a link existed between the plant's emissions and 
elevated cancer rates in neighboring communities. 
Tom Snowden, the company's chief radiological 
scientist, responded by assuring shareholders 
there was no scientific evidence linking the plant 
to cancer. 

A National Cancer Institute study said any 
cancer risk posed by nuclear power was minimal. 
But a state Department of Public Health study in 
1992 found a "correlation" between radioactive 
emissions from the plant in the 1970s and higher 
rates of leukemia for adults living and working 
near the plant. However, after a blue ribbon 
committee of scientists reviewed the study, the 
state backed off from the "correlation." Public 
Health director David Mulligan was quoted as 
saying, "It could be other factors. It could be 

Despite continued issues on the technical 
front - false water level readings at Pilgrim; 
cracks found in a North Carolina reactor of the 
same design as Pilgrim - the steam went out of 
the protest movement. A Greenpeace rally in 
Plymouth in 1993 drew few local residents. 

Tarantino said it took a long time to "re- 
establish the good working relationship" the plant 
had with the town prior to its long shutdown and 
win back public confidence. Pilgrim began a long- 
running connection with local high schools in 
1994 through a robotics program, with engineers 
volunteering their time and the company 
contributing to expenses. Plymouth North High 
School's robotics club entered its first US national 
robotics competition in 1995 and won a national 
title three years later. 

Pilgrim began to earn above average grades on 


the NRC annual reviews in the 1990s, although in 
1994 safety systems tripped again and the plant 
was shut down for three months. The next year 
it replaced two 300,000-pound turbines so large 
that the trucks carrying them stopped traffic in 
Manomet on the way to the plant. 

As Pilgrim worked to improve its performance 
record, two other landmark developments 
impinged on the plant's future. The state of 
Massachusetts passed a law deregulating 
the electrical power industry, and Boston 
Edison decided for reasons of its own, though 
deregulation probably contributed, to get out of 
the nuclear business. According to Tarantino, 
the company CEO called 
employees to a meeting at the 
downtown Plymouth Sheraton 
Hotel and said "you'd better 
find a buyer for Pilgrim, or else 
we're shutting it down." 

With deregulation near, 
Plymouth selectmen petitioned 
the state in 1995 to exempt 
Pilgrim, fearing a loss of 
revenue for the town. Valued 
at $800 million, the plant 
was paying the town $15 
million in taxes a year, about 
a quarter of the municipal 
budget. Regulation as part of 
a utility monopoly had meant 
that Pilgrim had a guaranteed 
market for its power at a rate 
that would guarantee a profit. 
As a regulated industry, the 
rules of the game meant 

it made money even when off line, and the 
investments its owner made to repair or improve 
the physical plant would be recouped by higher 
rates approved by utility regulators. 

In a deregulated environment, however, the 
plant makes no money when it's off line; profits 
in good times, on the other hand, are no longer 
limited by regulators. But without a guaranteed 
rate of return, the owners argued that the plant's 
taxable value had nose-dived. 

As newspaper headlines put it: "Deregulation 
pulls plug on tax base." When deregulation 
became law. Pilgrim was not exempted. Facing 
an inevitable revenue plunge, selectmen went to 

Aerial view of the Pilgrim Station as it appeared at the end of the 20th century. 

local voters with a plan to raise taxes and bank the 
extra for use when Pilgrim's revenue ran out, but 
the proposal was turned down. 

Deregulation also complicated the business of 
finding a buyer for the plant, already uncharted 
territory since no nuclear reactor had been sold 
at that time. OCM cartoonist Ed Colley pictured 
workers hanging a for-sale sign on a cooling 
tower: "Nuke plant for sale - ocean view." 

But the plant found a buyer in Entergy Corp., 
a Gulf Coast-based energy company that owned 
reactors in the South before purchasing Pilgrim. 
Entergy announced its purchase late in 1998, 
paying $80 million for the plant, its fuel, and 
associated costs. "We were 
thrilled," Tarantino said. 

Entergy took over on July 
13, 1999. Edison turned over 
its $466 million account in 
decommissioning funds, with 
Pilgrim's license due to run out 
in 2012. Pilgrim's property had 
grown to 1 ,675 acres. Entergy 
later bought another plant in 
Vermont and three in New 

The new owners decided 
openness was the best policy 
for relations with local 
government. "We decided we 
were just going to tell them 
everything," however trivial, 
Tarantino said. "They like to 
hear it from the plant itself." 

By the end of the century, 
the new owner's "fleet 


approach" to managing its new plants - offering 
economies of scale and a raft of on-staff experts 
- appeared to have brought results. Operations 
improved, nuclear power was proving profitable 
as fossil fuels grew e\ er more expensive, and the 
major issue for most local residents was financial. 
Pilgrim w as doing well, but the town was locked 
into an agreement it had made with Boston 

In the w ake of deregulation, with the plant's 
profitability as an "enterprise" power station no 
longer assured, its value hard to assess and its tax 
status uncertain, the town and Edison signed a 
payment in lieu of taxes agreement with annual 
payments sharply tailing off as years passed. 
To some, the town's onetime sugar daddy had 
become its bold deceiver. Plymouth faced a $10 
million revenue drop in 2008, down to a mere 
SI million a year, by the terms of the agreement. 
Negotiations w ith Entergy in the hope of making 
up some of the loss were underway in 2007. 

Forty years after that 1967 bombshell birth 
announcement. Pilgrim drew a varied and more 
nuanced response from Plymouth residents than 
the ecstatic "yes!" of an earlier day. Some voices 
say the town was too quick from the start to 
embrace the plant as the solution to the town's 
need for economic opportunity. Some contend 
the plant's ow nership had always put profits over 
safety. Critics also pointed out that despite moves 
in recent years by the federal government to store 
nuclear waste deep within the earth in the Nevada 
desert, the town was still a long way away from 
having decades' worth of spent nuclear fuel 
removed from Pilgrim. 

"We bought nuclear power plants way 

^We bought nuclear power 
plants way back when I don^t 
think we realized what we 
were faced with/ 

back when I don't think we realized what 
we were faced with," said Marie Fehlow, for 
years a member of the town's Nuclear Matters 
Committee, in a Boston Globe story in 2002. 
"It's still there and it's gonna be there. If you live 
in this town you need to be aware. Most people 
living here don't realize there are dangers in 
having a nuclear plant in your town." 

"We rushed," Alba Thompson said, in the same 
story. "Now we are faced with what we did." 

The 2001 terrorist attacks raised the alarm 
level on the security issue, as analysts suggested 
that nuclear plants, especially their fuel stored 
inside, posed a tempting target for terrorists by 
air, ground, or sea. Emergency plans also gained 
renewed attention. If federal, local and industry 
officials could not produce a convincing response 
to protect residents from a serious nuclear event at 
Pilgrim, local critics questioned their right to keep 
it open. The Nuclear Matters Committee in 2006 
appeared to express a town consensus when it 
stated it was "clear" that current evacuation plans 
"stand little chance of working in case of a rapidly 
evolving event." 

Entergy 's 2005 announcement of its desire to 
extend the license of the now profitable power 
plant for 20 years also stimulated local discussion 

of safety and environmental concerns. The town 
of Plymouth revived and empaneled a technically 
oriented Nuclear Matters Committee, which 
produced a report filled with concerns to guide the 
town's own response to the prospect that Pilgrim 
would continue to be a presence in Plymouth 
through 2032. 

The 1 1 -member committee's recommendation 
to selectmen summed up the role Pilgrim had 
played in Plymouth as the town changed from "a 
quiet rural community with a small population" to 
a time when "Plymouth's year-round population 
has more than tripled and it has become a year- 
round 'city' in fact if not by charter." 

Pilgrim contributes to Plymouth's well being, 
the report pointed out in its introduction - though 
less dramatically than had been anticipated when 
the town celebrated its arrival in Plymouth. The 
plant contributes "in a small way, by historical 
comparison, to town revenues" and employs 
"hundreds of people, many of whom live here 
and spend their salaries at least in part within 
Plymouth's borders." It may also provide a social 
good to the country "and the world," the report 
observed, by reducing reliance on fossil fuels. 
But the document offered a laundry list of safety, 
security and environmental issues that federal 
regulators needed to address before approving 
license renewal, including calls for better 
warning systems, emergency plans, and radiation 
monitoring. It appeared likely that 21st century 
issues of this sort would continue to provide 
controversy in Plymouth as long as the Pilgrim 
nuclear power plant remained in operation. 


Health care in 20^" century Plymouth 

Early in the 21st century a retired surgeon took an in-depth look at the practice of medicine and medical-related activities in 
Plymouth during the previous 100 years. 

John Moran 

At the turn of the 20th century, Hfe expectancy 
in the United States was 49 years. A diagnosis of 
cancer was tantamount to a death sentence, and the 
word, if used at all, struck fear and resignation into 
the heart. Most people seldom if ever saw a doctor, 
and then only under dire circumstances. 

Many doctors smoked and often did so in their 
offices. Some did so while attending childbirth or 
while doing office procedures. A large part of their 
practice was house calls; the fee was a dollar or 
two and payment was often from the garden or the 

Heart failure that caused leg swelling was 
"dropsy." Whiskey was prescribed to open the 
coronary arteries. When someone died suddenly, it 
was due to a "shock" or "natural causes." "He just 
up and died" was usually an adequate explanation 
of the cause. 

There were very few truly effective medicines 
available, and practice of homeopathy, a system of 
healing based on the theory that "like cures like," 
was in full bloom. The sale of patent medicines - a 
curious appellation, as they were not patented and 
many contained significant amounts of alcohol and 
narcotics - was a very lucrative business. 

EnfraiH c to the original Jordan Hospital building 

c. 1910. Opened as a 14-bed cottage hospital in 1903, 
by the end of the century, Jordan became a 160-bed 
acute care facility serving 12 towns in Plymouth and 
Barnstable counties. 

If you needed an urgent operation, you were 
taken to Quincy or Boston by horse-drawn 
ambulance. Epidemics of infectious diseases such 
as scarlet fever, diphtheria and typhoid fever were 
common; quarantine and the passage of time, aside 
from attempts at symptomatic relief, were the only 
treatments available. 

In the early years of the 20th century, virtually 
all births in Plymouth were at home, attended by 
midwives and, if needed, by one of several general 
practitioners. The great majority of deliveries were 
safe and successful. Family members, of course, 
were banned from the bedroom and after giving 
birth the mother would remain in bed for a week 
or longer. 

Contrast that scene with labor and delivery at 
century's end: In the Birthplace at Jordan Hospital, 
the mother stayed in one room throughout labor, 
delivery and postpartum. Her partner, having 
attended Lamaze classes with her, was there to 
assist her in natural childbirth - no more rushing 
to the delivery room. She could choose to have an 
underwater delivery in a warm tub. She would get 
out of bed soon after delivery and have a nurse to 
care for her and the baby throughout. 



.4 proud Jailwr view s liis new baby through a glass 
door at Jordan Hospital c. 1950s long before fathers 
were allow ed in a hospital delivery room. 

If need be, a neonatology specialist would be 
summoned from the Boston Floating Hospital, 
continuing a Jordan connection with Tufts 
University and the Floating that had existed 
since 1904, when funds were raised locally for a 
"Plymouth bed" in that unique institution. 

To get to this state-of-the-art situation, a 
number of phases had to be endured throughout 
the century. For example, there was an era of 
"twilight sleep" brought on by heavy doses of 
Demerol, scopolamine, Pentothal and nitrous 
oxide, after which, often the next day on 
awakening, the mother, who didn't know if she'd 
had a baby, sometimes needed resuscitation and a 
narcotic reversal drug. 

Gradually, following the early century 
construction of Jordan Hospital, labor and 
delivery in Plymouth became a hospital rather 
than home event. Some of the early Plymouth 
physicians practicing obstetrics were doctors 
Abate, Angley, Bennett, Deacon, Dube, 
Eastwood, Raginetti, Spellman and Waterman. 

If a Caesarean section was needed on one of 
their patients, a surgeon would be called in. It was 
not until 1963. when Dr. Joel Baron arrived, that 
Plymouth had its first obstetrics and gynecology 
specialist. By then nearly all local deliveries were 
in the hospital. Baron was joined in 1969 by Dr. 
Barry Meltzer, and they and others who followed 
gradually took over all obstetrical practice. 

Late in his practice, near the end of the century. 
Baron's most memorable "second generation" 

Meltzer was an early advocate 

of allowing fathers in the 
delivery room^ and caused quite 
a ruckus when he introduced it. 

delivery was the baby of parents, both of whom 
he had delivered. 

At the end of the 20th century, Jordan nurse 
Nancy Paronich, who was instrumental in 
starting prenatal education classes, recalled when 
newborns had to be kept behind glass in a hospital 
nursery away from everything "dirty," especially 
people, and mothers wore masks when feeding 
but were allowed to smoke in their rooms. 


Until the 1970s 
breastfeeding was 
discouraged and Dr. 
Baron met a lot of 
resistance in promoting 
it. Eventually the tide 
turned and lactation 
teaching by certified 
instructors such as 
Paronich eventually 
became part of the 
prenatal program. By 
the end of the century 
most mothers were 

Meltzer was an early 
advocate of allowing fathers in the deliver)' room, 
and caused quite a ruckus when he introduced 

Doris Ciishnian, RN. cares for a newborn baby at 
Jordan Hospital, c. 1950s. 

Dr. Joel Baron, who 
joined the Jordan 
Hospital staff in 1963. 
became the town 's 
first obstetrics and 
gynecology specialist. 


For the first 34 years of the 20th century there were no trained medical specialists in Plymouth. 
Instead, general practitioners, either medical or homeopathic physicians, provided the entire 
spectrum of necessary care. Some of them took up special niches such as anesthesia, treatment of 
fractures or urology. 

The first specialist on the Plymouth medical scene was Dr. H.H. "Ham" Hamilton who set up a 
local practice in 1934, the depths of the Depression, after four years of surgical training. Initially, he 
was refused permission to operate so he went into general practice until allowed to pick up a knife. 
With recognition of his ability came his appointment in 1938 as Jordan Hospital's first chief of 
surgery, a position he retained for 38 years. 

When he returned to Plymouth after a 42-month tour of duty during World War II, Ham recruited 
Samuel Stewart as the town's first internist. In 1951 he recruited James Gormley as Plymouth's first 
pediatrician. When Gormley died in 1987 he had been chief of pediatrics at Jordan for 23 years, 
beginning in 1962. 

Prior to the arrival of radiologist John Gilmore in 1958, a doctor from Quincy Hospital would 
come down to Plymouth two or three times a week to read films and to perform studies such as 
upper GI series and barium enemas to look for ulcers, stomach hernias, colon tumors, etc. Initially, 
the tiny X-ray room at Jordan Hospital was adjacent to an equally small laboratory and a small 
emergency room in the basement. With increasing demand and improvements in technology, the 
hospital responded with much enlarged space and new equipment so that at the end of the 20th 
century state-of-the-art facilities and staffing were in place, and Boston hospitals had very little 
more to offer in expertise and techniques than were available in Plymouth. 

Until 1978 surgery for breast cancer was not allowed at Jordan Hospital. Domenic Zazzarino 
joined the staff that year and introduced a program for diagnosing and treating it. The following year 
Steven Hochstin, trained in medical oncology, joined the staff and there followed a period of rapid 
development in the modern and sophisticated treatment of cancers of all types, including leukemias. 

- John Moran 

The tiny X-ray room at Jordan Hospital, c. 1940. By 
the end of the century the hospital had greatly enlarged 
state-of-the-art radiology facilities. 

it. The policy became to have a second nurse in 
the room to look after the father when he fainted, 
which he rarely did, if ever. 

Meltzer recalled that after one delivery, the 
husband, who had stepped outside the room, was 
found choking on a chicken bone. The doctor 
performed the Heimlich maneuver and saved the 
man's life. Coincidently, Dr. Heimlich had been a 
classmate of Meltzer's in medical school in New 

In Plymouth and throughout the country, the 
history of 20th century medicine was closely 
linked to the growing influence of hospitals as 
a focus of care for the sick and wounded. In 

Plymouth, the history of Jordan Hospital and 
the 100-year span of the century were virtually 

As the century began, the need for a proper 
hospital had been under discussion, initiated in 

the summer of 1 899 by a group of women who 
met in the office of Dr. Charles S. Davis where it 
was agreed that the idea should be pursued. While 
this was under consideration. Dr. E. Dwight 
Hill brought the necessity for a hospital to the 


attention of Eben D. Jordan, a prominent summer 
resident and the namesake and son of a founder of 
the well-know n Jordan Marsh department store in 

Jordan generously started a fund-raising drive 
w ith a gift of S 10.000 tow ard the goal of building 
a 14-bed cottage hospital at a total cost of $14,000 
and an annual operating budget of $2,500. 

At a meeting in Mechanics Hall in downtown 
Plymouth in late 1900. a group of prominent 
citizens agreed that the new medical facility 
should be named The Jordan Hospital and a 
15-member committee w as appointed to organize 
the construction effort. The committee was later 
enlarged to include Jordan and his wife. 

At a subsequent meeting in the Plymouth 


Five Cents Savings Bank the committee decided 
to seek from the state an act of incorporation 
and Dr. Davis was authorized to present the 
necessary petition. In addition, proposed bylaws 
were discussed and there was agreement that 
any person subscribing $1 .00 would become a 
member of the corporation, and a subscription of 
$100 would confer life membership. Also, it was 
agreed to provide residents of Kingston, Duxbury 
and Carver with hospital privileges on the same 
footing as Plymouth residents. 

In what later in the century would appear to 
be astonishing speed in dealing with the state 
bureaucracy, on Jan. 19, 1901 , a charter was 
received from the state that incorporated Jordan 
Hospital "for the purpose of establishing and 

maintaining in the Town of Plymouth for the 
surgical and medical treatment and nursing of the 
sick and wounded who may not have the means 
or opportunity to obtain relief and care in other 
ways, and of any others who might desire such 
treatment, and the training of persons to care for 
the sick and wounded." 

In short order a site for the hospital was 
selected and the trustees began an appeal for 
donations. A Boston architect was chosen to 
design the building and oversee construction, 
which began in July. All proceeded according to 
plan and Jordan donated another $10,000 toward 
construction costs that quickly exceed the original 

But on the night of Sept. 12, 1902, the almost 
completed building was nearly destroyed by fire, 
but the walls were still standing. Although arson 
was suspected, it was never proven. 

A month or so later, after insurance claims 
were settled, the trustees decided to salvage what 
was left and rebuild immediately. When the first 
Jordan Hospital building opened in December 
1903, it was of brick construction, measured 40 
X 70 feet and was piped for gas and wired for 
electricity. It had 14 beds. 

The century-long saga of Plymouth medicine 
and Jordan Hospital, from horse-and-buggy 
days to the 21st century, was one of intermittent 
progress, not without glitches, but progress 
nevertheless, in response to ever increasing 
demands of both population growth and medical 

By 1 9 1 2 it had become apparent that an 
addition to the hospital was imperative. Plans 
were formulated for the erection of a new 

Dr. Harold Henry Hamilton, a native of Missouri and graduate of 
Harvard Medical School, recalled in a memoir, that upon moving to 
Plymouth to practice medicine during the Depression, he was often 
"paid with cranberries, lobsters, potatoes, now and then a chicken or 
just a plain thank you." 

Ham, as he was affectionately known, was for a time Plymouth's 
foremost obstetrician, making more than 100 deliveries a year. He 
became the doctor to go to for consultation in the most difficult cases. 
Unlike a number of local physicians, he welcomed new colleagues. 
During World War II, Lt. Col. Hamilton spent 42 months in the Army 
as chief surgeon of an evacuation hospital in Europe. 

Ham was known for his courtly manner and subtle sense of humor. 
He died of heart failure at Jordan Hospital in 1982. At a memorial 
service the Rev. Garry Marks eulogized: "Ham was an extraordinary physician, a gifted surgeon ... 
who attracted able medical people to this place that he loved, and because of his efforts, he leaves a 
place that loves him." 



Dr. Helen F. "Nellie" Pierce was a 
memorable character in the history of 20th 
century Plymouth health care. 

Born in Manomet in 1861 , a graduate of 
Plymouth High School and Boston University 
School of Medicine, she was a practitioner 
of homeopathy, a system of healing based 
on the theory that "like cures like." She 
was appointed to the visiting staff of Jordan 
Hospital when it opened in 1903, practiced 
in Plymouth for 45 years, primarily from her 
home at 6 North St. and retired at age 77 in 
1938. She died in 1953 two weeks before her 
92nd birthday. 

Nellie was well known and much loved in 
the community. Early in the 21st century both 
Alba Thompson and Brooks Barnes recalled 
seeing her driving about town in her silent 
electric automobile, guiding it with a tiller 
instead of a steering wheel and smoking the 
cigar she was known to enjoy. 

general hospital and a contagious disease ward. 
The town's Board of Health had been agitating 
for such a facility since at least the turn of the 
century and so agreed to finance maintenance 
of the ward. The original hospital building was 
converted into a residence and school for nurses. 
The new building was named for the late Rosa 
Cole, who had bequeathed more than $200,000 to 
the hospital. A roadway next to the hospital was 
named Cole's Lane. 

Early in the 21st century. Brooks Barnes 

recalled that her younger brother Parker had 
contracted scarlet fever in 1927 or 1928 and 
was confined for several weeks on the hospital's 
second-floor contagious ward. Visitors, of course, 
were not allowed, so their mother, Mercy Hatch 
Barnes "would get on her horse so she was high 
enough to see him and visit with him through the 
window on the second floor." 

Brooks Barnes was a nurse and supervisor at 
Children's Hospital in Boston for 30 years and 
after her retirement brought her experience to bear 
while serving on the board of directors of Cura, 
the local visiting nurses organization. 

A series of ever-escalating gift campaigns 
began in 1939 in response to increasing demands 
for hospital space and medical services. A new 
wing was completed in 1942, further increasing 
the hospital's capacity. 

By 1957, nearly 3,000 patients were being 
admitted annually. An $800,000 fund drive 
resulted in an expansion to 76 beds by 1960 and 
additional renovations increased the hospital's 
capacity to 104 beds by 1963. But even that did 
not meet demands on the facility for very long. 

In 1970 ground was broken for a $3.2 million 
East Wing of unconventional "visually dramatic" 
design. Among other sobriquets, "zig-zag" and 
"pigeon hole," have been applied to the wing. But 
the new facility increased the hospital's capacity. 

Another expansion in 1991 included 
construction of the Birthplace and a record 987 
births were recorded at the hospital that year. 
Another expansion in 1994 provided a new 
emergency department and a rehabilitation center 
as well as a new $1 .6 million power plant. 

The success of these fund-raising drives is 

a testimonial to the people of Plymouth and 
surrounding towns, and to the ability of the 
board of directors and hospital administrators, 
in providing and obtaining an ongoing series 

In 1970 ground was broken for 
a $3.2 million East Wing 

of unconventional 
^visually dramatic^ design. 

of donations, large and small. As a result, in an 
era of hospital mergermania and the growth of 
for-profit hospital chains, Jordan Hospital was 
able to maintain its status as a community-based 
nonprofit institution. 

At the turn of the 21st century, when life 
expectancy had increased to 77 years, the hospital 

Aerial view of Jordan Hospital, c. 1990 prior to a 
late 20th century addition when the main entrance off 
Sandwich Street was moved to offObery Street. 



A recurrent theme in 20th century Plymouth 
medicine is the prominent role of women, 
illustrated in the founding in 1906 of the Jordan 
Hospital Club. One summer day that year. May 
Hill (later Mrs. George E. Mabbett) and several 
of her friends were sitting and talking on the 
porch of her family home. According to Brooks 
Barnes. May's father. Dr. E. Dwight Hill, said, 
"Why don't you girls do something useful?" 

The admonition w as taken seriously and 
the eight w omen, at the time four single 
and four married, recognized the need for 
a women's auxiliary for the new hospital. 
They formed the Jordan Hospital Club, 
w hich was incorporated the following year. 

In the early years club members wrapped 
bandages, sterilized instruments and 
performed other duties to aid the nursing 
staff. In addition to furnishing a reception 
room, the club also began fundraising and 
during its first six years raised and gave to 
the hospital S8,800. 

Sewing and buying various items for the 
hospital began in 1912 and in 1915 the club 
voted to replace the sterilizer in the operating 
room and buy new instruments. In 1918 during 
the severe influenza epidemic (See: Vol. I, "A 
Spanish Lady Plagues Plymouth." pp. 69-70.) 
the club voted to purchase an ambulance for the 
hospital and within a month it had been delivered 
and put to use. 

Throughout the 1930s the club continued 

to provide the hospital with bed linens, 
gowns, towels, etc. as well as instruments and 
equipment. During World War II club volunteers 
provided a variety of services, alongside Red 
Cross workers, to fill in for the loss of many 
physicians and nurses to the war effort. 

Subsequently a number of activities intended 
to provide needed services as well as to raise 
money were begun. From mid-century, a mobile 

Ocean view from the patient's balcony at Jordan Hospital, c. 
1918. The hospital building is on the right, the nurses quarters 
to the left. 

gift cart was wheeled about the hospital by Helen 
Barufaldi when she began her 50 years of service 
as a volunteer. The cart evolved into a gift shop 
in the East Wing. In 1981 , Helen was given an 
award for 8,000 hours of volunteer service, a 
gross underestimate of the countless hours she 
gave to the hospital. Helen continued to volunteer 
until a few weeks before her death in 2003. 

A coffee shop was opened in the 1970s, 
staffed by volunteers. A mobile craft cart 
provided materials for patients and club 
members who decorated the hospital for 
Christmas. At the turn of the 21st century, major 
financial support was directed toward opening 
the Jordan Hospital Club Cancer Center and the 
Dennis Critical Care Center. 

More than $1 million had been raised by the 
club over the years, providing $215,000 for 
the critical care facility, $160,000 for the 
neonatal nursery, $150,000 for the cancer 
center, $100,000 for gamma cameras and an 
ultrasound system plus substantial support 
for the Birthplace and day surgery, for 
nursing scholarships and a variety of other 
hospital projects. 

Several fund-raising projects were the 
source of much of the wherewithal for all 
S that philanthropy - $85,000 raised in 2002 
and $155,000 in 2003, the gift shop, and 
annual appeal letter, the Fall Gala tag sale, 
Duxbury lawn party and the Pilgrim Polar 
Plunge, a mid-winter event at Plymouth 
Long Beach. The plunge alone raised more than 
$70,000 in 2004. 

Early in the 21st century club membership 
was about 400 from 12 communities, the 
majority from Plymouth and Duxbury and a 
number who had moved outside the area but 
wanted to stay connected. 


Aerial view of the Jordan Hospital campus near state Route 3, Plymouth police headquarters and Plymouth North 
High School as it appeared early in the 21st century. The 160-bed not-for-profit community hospital had more than 
40 departments, programs and services. 

expanded yet again, increasing its capacity to 
160 beds while providing an ambulatory care 
center, new operating rooms, a women's pavilion 
and a new cancer center. With more than 40 
departments, programs and services, Jordan had 
become an acute care hospital serving 12 towns in 
Plymouth and Barnstable counties. 

However, a community hospital such as 
Jordan could not provide all the medical services 
available in large city medical centers. The 
necessary resources and personnel were simply 
not there. Major trauma cases were airlifted from 
the hospital helipad to Boston because 24-hour 
staff coverage was essential. And major chest and 

intracranial surgery was not available at Jordan 
because of relatively low demand and difficulty in 
recruiting specialists in those areas. 

The 21st century is certain to experience 
continued growth in medical knowledge, perhaps 
even at an accelerated rate. By the end of the 
century life expectancy in the United States will 
probably be more than 90, possibly even 100. 
Also inevitable will be the continued growth 
of Plymouth and further expansion of Jordan 
Hospital, responding to community needs and 
advancements in medical knowledge just as it did 
during the century of its founding. 


In 1900, Fred Barrett, Josiah Morton and 
J.H. Shaw made up the town's three-member 
Board of Health. In that year's annual town 
report the board reported 221 births, "well 
over half born to immigrant couples," 31 
cases of measles, 1 1 of scarlet fever, four of 
typhoid and a single case of diphtheria. In 
addition, the board reported that the water 
from the Elder Brewster spring in downtown 
Plymouth had been tested and was found to 
be "uniformly potable." 

By the end of the century a five-member 
board, including a physician, would, 
in addition to the responsibilities of its 
predecessors, license tanning, massage and 
body art salons and food servers; inspect 
and test public swimming facilities; arrange 
and supervise thousands of immunizations; 
penalize tobacco and food service violators; 
issue permits for new private wells and 
sewage disposal systems and issue burial 

An indication of the scope and importance 
of the board's activities by the end of the 
century was the nearly $300,000 in fees and 
penalties brought into town coffers in the 
year 2000. That was exceeded as a source of 
municipal income only by tax collections and 
building permit fees. 


Economic pains and gains 

Edward W. Santos and Michael A. Gallerani 

In the early 1960s Plymouth was faced with 
tough economic times. For a town of nearly 
14.000 people, the reality of the final few hundred 
jobs at the Plymouth Cordage Co. being lost 
meant that family members, friends and neighbors 
might no longer be working. For the local 

there was no plan^ no vision^ 
and clearly no answers. 

business community it meant that their long-time 
customers, people who worked hard at local mills 
and foundries, were, one by one. finding their 
world being turned upside down. 

The uncertainty was just beginning, for there 
was no plan, no vision, and clearly no answers. 

Economically, Plymouth was not alone, for 
all of New England was facing the loss of mill 
industries. Manufacturing was being moved to 
more cost-efficient states in the South. Local 
leadership was caught off guard as most thought 
the day would never come when manufacturing as 
the\ had known it would move elsewhere or cease 

The Plymouth Cordage Co., at the height of its 
operations in the 1940s and 1950s, employed as 
many as 2,000 workers. It was the largest single 



employer in Plymouth's history. Its 
decline was spread over the decade of 
the 1960s, but in 1969, the company 
closed its doors for good, putting the 
last few hundred employees out of 

Plymouth had always rebounded 
from the effects of war, embargo, 
strikes, technology, politics and failure 
that had impacted the town and the 
business community in the past. But 
the Cordage closing was different; the 
decline was painful and there was no 
clear end in sight. 

A study conducted by the Boston 
University Area Development Center 
in 1965 concluded that "Plymouth's 
best chances for more jobs and more 
money in everyone's pocket lie in the 
tourist industry, in attracting more 
long-stay vacationers, in developing 
into a big camping, boating and 
sports fishing center, and a place for 
commuters and retired people to make 
their homes." 

The study report went on to say 
that "Plymouth has only a slim chance 
of getting any new industry though 
small plants producing compact, easily 

Helping open the new industrial park in 1968 were, from left, Mel 
Coombs, PI DC president; Plymouth selectman chairman David 
Tarantino; and David Freeman, director ofPlimoth Plantation and a 
PIDC originator. 

shipped items cannot entirely be ruled out." 

Those who believed that Plymouth could build 
a diverse economy disagreed with the study's 
recommendations. Although the local political 
leadership failed to respond sufficiently during 
this troubling time, the local business community 
stepped in. 

"We realized the town needed help because our 
customers, neighbors and friends were losing their 
jobs and needed help," said Edward B. Maccaferri 
Sr., treasurer of the Puritan Clothing Co. in 
downtown Plymouth. 

In addition to the cordage company in North 
Plymouth, other major local employers, like the 
Mabbett mill on the downtown waterfront, were 
reaching the end of the line. In the mid-1960s, 
the local unemployment rate was 20 percent. 
With Provincetown, Plymouth shared the dubious 
distinction of having the highest unemployment 
rate in Massachusetts. 

The local workforce was largely unskilled and 
for many, working in the mills was the only thing 
they knew. More than half of the male workforce 
was 50 years of age and older. People began 
taking lower paying jobs and those who could 
find a new job typically had to commute as much 
as one hour each way. Families were living with 
lower incomes than had been the norm. 

Unemployment and under-employment 
continued into the next decade as the 
unemployment rate routinely exceeded 14 
percent, fueled by layoffs by the out-of-town 
firms that employed many of the people who had 
been displaced by the Cordage closing. 

Plymouth leaders had no experience with 
the problems that faced the town. The need for 

expert assistance was clear, but with no funding 
source readily available the likelihood of finding 
a quick solution was all but dismissed. Many 
communities facing similar problems made the 
fatal mistake of waiting for someone else to fix 
their problem. Plymouth could not afford to wait. 

In addition, the town had no modern 
infrastructure that could support contemporary 
industry. There was no sewer treatment facility; 
development in areas west of the new Route 3 
was almost non-existent. Plans for a state-of-the- 
art industrial park had not been considered and 

'We realized the town 
needed help because our 
customers^ neighbors and 
friends were losing their jobs 
and needed help/ 

local decision makers initially thought that the 
cordage company buildings in North Plymouth 
could be re-used by some kind of industry. The 
historic waterfront area was littered with former 
mill buildings that gave the town an image of 
abject failure. The east- west roadway system 
was inadequate and the problem would only 
be exacerbated by any new industry that relied 
on the movement of goods and services. Public 
confidence in Plymouth fell to an all-time low. 

What was needed was for someone to step 
forward and give the people of Plymouth 
something to believe in, something that would 

restore the economic balance of the community 
and something that the outside world would see 
as a positive effort. 

The challenge for Plymouth was to find 
leadership from within the community and 
ride their efforts toward a renewed economy. 
One thing was understood — Plymouth could 
no longer afford the luxury of having a single 
major employer or cluster of major employers 
that required limited skills. The town had to 
diversify economically to serve the needs of a 
new entrepreneurial spirit that was emerging 
throughout the nation. In 1962 the men 
and women who became active in planning 
Plymouth's new business and industry effort 
formed the Plymouth Industrial Development 
Corp. (PIDC). 

The PIDC was established as a non-profit 
economic development corporation. At the time 
Plymouth had a double-digit unemployment 
rate and was recognized as a distressed area 
by the U.S. Department of Commerce. As a 
result, Plymouth was eligible for preferential 
treatment under government contracts, long-term 
low-interest loans for eligible firms, training 
programs for displaced workers and assistance for 
community facilities and programs. 

Henry Barnes, president of Plymouth National 
Bank, assumed the lead role in initial PIDC 
efforts. A vision was shaped that was to be 
inclusive of the population diversity of Plymouth. 
The sons and daughters of Italian, German, 
Irish and Portuguese immigrants were invited to 
sit at the table with other business owners and 
descendants of the original Mayflower. 

"I am confident that this endeavor will restore 


economic stability to the tow n of 
Plymouth, and in doing so will 
preser\ e the historic character and 
values of the town," Barnes said as 
the new development corporation 
began its work. He and Maccaferri 
were initially joined in the effort by 
Edward Mayer, traffic manager of 
the Plymouth Cordage Co.: Manuel 
N'alenle, owner of Valente Florists: 
John Petrell Jr.. owner of the Plymouth 
Lumber Co.: Hyman Sherman, owner 
of Sherman Furniture: Soloman 
Shwom. owner of Shwom's Clothing 
Store: Thomas Quinn, local attorney: 
Melvin Coombs, executive secretary 
of the tow n"s economic development 
office: Edwin Buttner, president of the 
Buttner Co.: David Freeman, director 
of Plimoth Plantation: James White, 
ow ner of the James White Monument 
Co.; Charles Stasinos, owner of 
Massasoit Vending Service; and Phillip 
Barnes, owner of Barnes Worsted, Inc. 

Together, as founders and organizers of the 
PIDC. they raised operating funds, qualified for 
federal infrastructure grants and went on to build 
a small-business industrial park on undeveloped 
land west of the new Route 3. 

The drive for funding started with the sale of 
stock to the public. Shares were $5 each, sold 
with the understanding that there would be no 
interest or dividends paid. 

In order to broaden the appeal to the greater 
community, the downtown sewage disposal 
problem was included as an incentive to move 

^ ^lymuutl; Jnbuatrial leuelopmrnt Qlorporattan S 

Th«iu« F. Quirai 

-is Uie owner of 


Shares of the COMMON STOCK of 

Pymautli Jn^ustrial Ocuclnprnent (Unrporatian 

transferable only on the books of the Corporation by tlie holder hereof in perstm or by Attorney 

i-ndi-r of this C^Ttificnte properly endnrstd. 

SlacJihaldWl iMlM am 

3'* trota$ la' dt^balton, U 
taHm>. lha laid BamfJ •hofl. 

In Witness Whereof, the said Corporation has caused this Certificate to be 
siRncd by its duly authorized officers and its Corporate Seal to be hereunto affixed 

day of_- 

A.D. 19 62 

PIDC common stock certificate. To raise operating fiinds, shares were sold for $5 
each with the understanding that there would he no interest or dividends paid. 

forward. With plans for an industrial park, the 
town qualified for federal funding to reduce the 
local taxpayer cost of a modern sewage treatment 

The challenge for Plymouth 
was to find leadership from 
within the community. 

facility -- from $2 million to just over $500,000. 

By September 1966 the initial fundraising goal 
of $125,000 had been raised and the PIDC was 

able to move forward with plans to 
acquire the first 100 acres required 
to qualify for federal funding for a 
sewage treatment facility and harbor 

During the fundraising drive, 
two local property owners, Joe 
and John Calista, stepped forward 
to be involved through their 
purchase of PIDC stock. They also 
suggested that undeveloped land 
they owned west of the new Route 
3 might be an appropriate site for 
a light-industry industrial park. 
Soon thereafter, PIDC agreed to 
purchase approximately 100 acres 
of Calista land. The Calistas took 
no money up front and held the 
mortgage, giving PIDC the ability 
to use funds raised that year to build 
roads, sewer, water lines and other 
necessary infrastructure. It also gave 
the corporation the wherewithal to 
begin an advertising and marketing campaign to 
attract new industry. 

During 1967 the industrial park master plan 
was completed and Plymouth received nearly 
$3.75 million in federal funding for economic 
development purposes. The greatest share was 
earmarked for a sewage treatment facility and 
harbor development projects, but $412,000 from 
the Economic Development Administration 
helped pay the $588,600 cost of industrial park 
infrastructure - roads, sewer, water lines, etc. 

In 1968 additional EDA funding was secured 
and 1 86 acres were zoned for development in the 


new industrial park. 

At this time, the pressure to 
estabUsh a new employment base was 
exacerbated by increased residential 
development driven by Plymouth's huge 
undeveloped land area, easier access 
to Boston via the new Route 3 and the 
promise of low property taxes due to 
the building of a nuclear power plant. 
"Plymouth became a very attractive 
community to live in," recalled Edward 
Santos, who became involved with 
PIDC in 1967 as a representative of the 
Plymouth Home National Bank and 
remained a director for more than 40 

PIDC retained its focus on 
diversifying the local economy, thereby 
minimizing the negative impact of a 
single industry or employer closing 
its doors or cutting back staff. The 
approach began to pay off as the 
industrial park attracted a number of 
small businesses and employment grew. 
Plymouth slowly began to emerge from 
the post-mill era that had had a hold on 
the community for more than a decade. 

In 1968, the first company to locate 
in the new industrial park was Pixley 
Richards, a newly established firm that 
manufactured plastic components for 
automobiles and went on to become an 
industry leader in injection molding. 
Then came various firms producing an 
even greater variety of products: Arnold 
Trailer, Richards Micro Tool, Party Lite 





SCALE r : 400 


An early layout of the Plymouth Industrial Park from Route 3 at the top to 
Route 80 at the bottom. 

candles, MIJA Industries pressure 
gauges, Tech-Etch engraving, Bartlett 
Nuclear, CDF Corp. liners and lids, and 
electrical contractor Glynn Electric. 

For 10 years, from 1989-1999, the 
industrial park housed one of Japan's 
premier electronic software producers, 
KAO Infosystems Co. When KAO 
left town in 1999, "it didn't even 
create a ripple in the waters," Santos 
said. "It was replaced by 8-10 smaller 

By the end of the 20th century, the 
Plymouth Industrial Park had expanded 
to more than 450 acres and its business 
and industrial occupants employed more 
than 4,000 workers - twice the peak of 
Cordage employment. 

At the turn of the 2 1 st century, parcels 
on the west and northwest edge of the 
park, those abutting Route 80 and a new 
Route 44 were rezoned for hospitality 
and retail development to complement 
nearby industrial and business uses. The 
result was a 125-room Hampton Inn, 
several free-standing restaurants and an 
outdoor retail shopping mall. 

"When we began, we didn't even 
know what economic development 
was," said Santos. "But we did it 
without eminent domain, without taking 
down any houses, and we met our 
original goal — providing businesses and 





Plymouth has always been a religious community. From its 
founding in 1620 as a refuge for English separatists through the 20th 
century, religious meeting places of various sizes and denominations 
have been an integral part of the town's life and architecture. 

Congregation Beth Jacob 
9 Pleasant Street 

Religion in 20th century Plymouth reflected the town's increasingly 
diverse population - from old Yankee Protestantism to immigrant 
Roman Catholicism and Judaism. Pictured here are various houses 
of worship in Plymouth as they appeared in the late 20th century. 

Second Church of Plymouth 
518 State Road 

Blessed Kuteri Tekakwitlui Church 
126 South Meadow Road 

St. Mary's Church 
313 Court Street 

St. Bonaventure Church 
799 State Road 

United Methodist Church 
29 Carver Road 



Fir:si Parish Church 
19 Tow n Square 

Church of the Pilgrimage 
8 Town Square 

St. Peter 's Church 
86 Court Street 

Zion Lutheran Church 
384 Court Street 

Blacks in Plymouth 

Peter /, Gomes 

When first we think of persons of color, we 
often go back to that alleged black person on 
the Mayflower, the so-called "black Pilgrim" 
who from time to time arouses so much interest. 
This is a reference to a man named Abraham 
Pearse, who is listed among the earliest settlers of 
Duxbury. He is described as a "blackamoor" or 
as simply the "moor," a title in common parlance 
that usually means a person of color or of African 
descent, or at least of mixed race, favoring the 
darker side. 

We do not know much about Abraham Pearse 
except that he must have been dark enough to 
attract attention, and that he did not come on the 
Mayflower in 1620; he is described as one of the 
servants of John Pierce, who was captain of the 
ship Anne that arrived in Plymouth in 1623. In 
various accounts Pierce is listed as energetic in 
peace and war, and one of the earliest purchasers 
of land in the area of Plymouth County later 
known as Bridge water. Mentioned in John A. 
Goodwin's "Pilgrim Republic," his existence in 
early 17th century Plymouth County is enough 
to establish a precedence for black people in 

A survey of Plymouth church records reveals 
12 pages of entries fi-om the 1 7th to the mid- 19th 
centuries containing baptisms, weddings, admissions 
to membership, and burials of black persons 

variously described as "persons of colour," 
"coloured people," "Negro," "man of colour," 
and "Ethiopian." Many were the slaves of the 
local gentry, others were indentured servants, 
and others without any such designation can be 
assumed to have been free. 

The story of the black presence 
in 20th century Plymouth is 
known to but a few. 

In the 18th century there were enough black 
people in the vicinity to constitute a black village 
called "New Guinea," on the borderlands between 
Plymouth and Kingston. The most famous 
inhabitants of this African-American settlement 
were slaves who gained their freedom by serving 
as soldiers on the patriot side in the Revolutionary 
War. They gained their freedom, were granted 
land by the Town of Plymouth in 1792, and lived 
and died in the region, where they are buried in 
the cemetery known as "Parting Ways." Their 
existence excited the interests of historians and 
archaeologists, particularly James Deetz of Brown 
University and Plimoth Plantation, who wrote of this 
settlement in his book "In Small Things Forgotten: 
The Archaeology of Early American Life." 

Under the leadership of Marjorie Amado 
Anderson, plans were begun in 1976, at the 
time of the American bicentennial, to establish a 
museum and cultural center having to do with the 
black experience in New England and the four 
black veterans buried in Parting Ways Cemetery: 
Cato Howe, Plato Turner, Prince Goodwin, and 
Quamany Quash. By the end of the century, 
the plans had yet to materialize, yet interest in 
those local black Revolutionary war veterans 
remained high. It will be for another generation to 
determine how this local aspect of black history 
might best be commemorated. 

The story of the black presence in 20th 
century Plymouth is known to but a few, yet 
it is a surprisingly large and colorful story, 
having its origins in the 19th century abolitionist 
movement, the Underground Railway, and the 
1 866 establishment of Bethel African Methodist 
Episcopal Church. 

Plymouth was home to a number of abolitionist 
families, prominent among whom were the 
Spooners, who in 1824 had formed the Plymouth 
Cordage Co. Bourne Spooner, the founder, having 
seen rope made by slave labor in New Orleans, 
was convinced that it could be made better and 
more cheaply by free labor. Hence the origins 
at Nathan's Brook, in North Plymouth, of what 
would become the world's largest manufacturer 


of cordage. Unlike man\ northern industrialists, 
particularl) those "lords of the lash and the loom" 
who made their mone> off southern cotton and 
spun their profits in the mills of the Merrimack. 
Ri\ er. the SjX)oners and many of their Plymouth 
neighbors were supporters of the abolitionist cause. 

It was through their 
support that Plymouth 
became a stop on the 
Underground Railway, 
and many blacks from 
the American south 
ended up in Plymouth, 
establishing roots 
in the community 
both before and 
immediately after 
the Civil War. From 
those first black 
Plymoutheans many 
20th century black 
families descended. 
An institutional 
expression of the 
black community in Plymouth is the Bethel 
Church, first located in a modest building on 
Billington Street and, after 1870. in a converted 
stable on Sever Street. 

Among its founders are listed Charles B. 
Allen. William H. Gray, George Lyle, Jeremiah 
Lee, Sanderson Fuller. Amos Goodwin, Edward 
Giles. Allen Mellencourt and Aaron Joseph. The 
first pastor was the Rev. William Johnson. The 
mortgage on the Sever Street property was retired 
in 1 870 w ith the help of white friends of the 
church, and the parsonage behind the church was 

Peter Gomes as he 
appeared as class 
president in his 1961 
Plymouth High School 
yearbook. He went on to 
become the well-known 
author of many hooks. 


Plymouth became a stop on 
the Underground Railway^ and 
many blacks from the American 
south ended up in Plymouth 

built in 1895 by the Rev. Antrim Lee, who served 
the church intermittently for many years, often 
supplying the pulpit in the absence of a regular 

As a child I had the Bethel experience, which 
is to say that while my family and I attended a 
"white" church on Sunday morning, 
in our case the First Baptist Church, 
in the evening the black community 
gathered together to worship in 
the Bethel Church, more in an 
expression of racial identity and 
solidarity than in any theological 
consensus. While black people 
held memberships in many of the 
local churches, they came together 
at Bethel. The church was too 
small and hence too poor to afford 
a full-time minister, so part-time 
itinerant preachers from Boston 
would supply the pulpit, and when 
there was a local preacher he was 
often obliged to take a regular job in 
the community in order to support 
himself and his family while he 
served as pastor. 

Among the happiest of my 
childhood memories were the annual 

chicken dinners that the ladies of Bethel put on 
each August. The chairs were removed from the 
church and tables set up and, for 99 cents, out 
of the tiny kitchen in the parsonage would come 
magnificent meals with sweet iced tea. Young 
people such as myself helped with the setting- 
up, the serving, and the cleaning-up, and we 
were worked off our feet from 10 o'clock in the 
morning until 5 o'clock in the afternoon. Tickets 
were sold all over town, and clerks from the 
stores and public buildings made it a point to take 
their lunch at Bethel on the day in question. This 
annual chicken dinner was the largest fund-raiser 
of the year, and together with a few concerts 
where admission was charged and artists donated 

llie Bethel Cliiirch on Sever Street in downtown Plymouth, a converted 
stable that became a favorite place for worship and social gatherings 
for the town's black population. 

their services, those events constituted the means 
to raise money to support the church. 

The Bethel concerts deserve some attention, 
and my mother, Orissa White Gomes, a 
professional musician, was much involved with 
them. When she first came to Plymouth and took 
up work in Bethel Church she organized a choir 
but, more importantly, she was able to secure 
some of her Boston musical friends to come 
to what they called the "country" to give their 
services for the sake of the church. In return for 
pleasant hospitality and a large and appreciative 
crowd, her musical friends would give concerts 
in Bethel Church, in other churches and, on 
more than one occasion, in Memorial Hall. Often 
the musicians would stay with us, and I recall 
one incident when Mother's great friend Ina 
Payne Braithwaite came down on the Boston 
train with her harp. As her harp was unloaded 
from the baggage car at the Plymouth Depot, 
the stationmaster, looking at the harp and the 
trim little black lady, said, "You'll be for Mrs. 
Gomes," and summoned a taxicab to take her to 
our house. 

The tradition of music and the black 
community was alive and well. All of the young 
people were obliged to take piano lessons whether 
we wanted them or not, and we were expected 
to be good enough to perform when called upon. 
"Musicales," as they were called, were often held 
in church, but just as often they took place in 
people's homes, as nearly everyone had a piano. 
A typical program consisted of piano pieces, 
readings, memorized recitations, and solos, duets, 
and quartets, and for the young people the best 
part was the food that nearly always followed — 

The Kingston Inn, a hotel for blacks in Kingston, attracted a faithful clientele of affluent black tourists from around 
the country 

sandwiches on bread with no crusts, cakes from 
Danforth's bakery or, better still, home-made, and 
very sweet punch. In the days before television 
these home entertainments were wonderful 
diversions, and on such occasions many of us 
were given our introduction to public life and 
good manners. 

In a strict sense, Plymouth in the first half of 
the 20th century was not segregated, but there was 
a color line carefully, if quietly, observed. The 
black middle class lived in respectable and well- 
maintained neighborhoods, the Gray family, for 
example, living in large houses on Davis Street, 
Oak Street, Chestnut Street, and what became 

Gray Avenue. Most of those houses were built by 
the well-established sons of William H. Gray at 
the turn of the 20th century, and descended in their 
families until late into the century. Other black 
families lived on Newfield Street, and a large 
number of well-off black summer people lived 
in cottages in what some insisted upon calling 
"Billington-by-the-Sea." Boston lawyer John 
Lane, and Judge William Skanks were among the 
leaders of this set, famous for parties thought to be 
"fast" by the more stolid Plymouth natives. 

There were black tourists, and when the 
automobile liberated more and more people 
for summer travel, black motorists made their 


w a\ to historic Plymouth. There were no signs 
sa\ ing "White" and "Colored," but it was clearly 
understood that when a carload of black visitors 
pulled up at the Plymouth Information Center on 
Park Avenue, they were to be directed to Mrs. 
Gray. Mrs. Walley. or Mrs. Gomes, each of whom 
had "summer rooms" for just such persons. 

In Kingston there was the imposing Kingston 
Inn at the head of Summer Street, later the site of 
the Kingston Public Library, a black hotel owned 
and run by Mrs. Lillian Hayes and her husband, 
an energetic black couple from New York who 
in winter ran a catering company in the city. 
They advertised in the national black press, and 
attracted a faithful clientele of increasingly mobile 
and affluent black tourists in the summer season. 
When she was a high school student, my cousin 
Marjorie White w orked summers at the Kingston 
Inn. and she was full of tales of the exotic colored 
people she saw turning up at the front desk. 

For a more primitive experience, black people 
could stay at the Twin Oaks on the Duxbury- 
Kingston line, a set of cabins owned and operated 
by relatives of Mrs. Hayes, the Woodburys, and 
the Underwoods. Word of those places passed 
by word of mouth, and their guests provided a 
significant black presence in Plymouth in the 
summer. Black people may have been able to stay 
at the Plymouth Rock Hotel, the Samoset House, 
and Hotel Pilgrim, but I never heard of any who 
did. The head chef of the Plymouth Rock Hotel 
was Fred Gray and the similar position at the 
Samoset House was held by his brother Arthur. 
George Gray, the most formidable of the Gray 
brothers and known as "Uncle George," was the 
steward of the Old Colony Club and famous for 

both his "clam muddle" and his opinions, which 
he was not inclined to suppress. Bankers, lawyers, 
and local industrialists knew it was best not to 
argue with Uncle George. 

As a young black boy I loved the summers 
in Plymouth just after World War II, for it was 
here that parochial little Plymouth and the larger 
black world came into contact. Thursday, for 
example, was the day the black help were given 
the afternoon off by their "people," the well-to- 
do white summer people who came from New 
York, Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C., to 
spend weeks in the vicinity. They came with their 
cooks, chauffeurs and maids, and on Thursday 
afternoons all of them, it seemed, descended on 

little downtown Plymouth, until the parade of 
limousines along the main street, and uniformed 
chauffeurs escorting black women in and out of 
the shops, made me wonder if Harlem, of which I 
had only heard, was like this. 

On Sunday evenings those folk came to our 
little Bethel Church, bringing their gospel songs 
from Chicago, Atlanta, and Detroit, and what a 
joyful sound they made! The white neighbors 
would sit outside on their porches and listen to 
the unusually lively music coming out of Bethel 
Church: all of us were country mice to those city 
mice, and how we enjoyed what they had to offer. 
While we all spoke like the Yankees we were, our 
brothers and sisters from away brought with them 

Twin Oaks, on the Kingston-Duxbuty line, provided summer cabins for black tourists visiting the Plymouth area. 


the lilting voices of black America and the styles 
of which we could read only in the privately 
circulated copies of the Pittsburgh Courier and the 
very new Ebony Magazine. 

Our family had its share of black summer 
houseguests, a welcome source of income and 
cultural stimulation for my mother. Two stand 
out in my memory: one was Mr. Dinkins, a 
character actor at the Priscilla Beach Theater 
who was always rehearsing his lines as the butler, 
chauffeur, or valet in some production, and who 
wore a silk dressing-gown and an ascot, and was 
not at all averse to being waited on. My mother 
thought he was wonderful; Father couldn't abide 

The other summer houseguest who stands 
out in my memory was Bill, or William Myles, 
or Mr. Myles. He was a large jovial black man 
who was chauffeur to some very elderly Jewish 
people from New Jersey, who every summer 
spent several weeks at the Mayflower Hotel 
in Manomet. Once they arrived and settled in 
they had little use for Bill, and spent their days 
lounging around the pool and playing board 
games. Bill, meanwhile, was based at our house 
and placed himself at Mother's disposal. He 
would drive her downtown to do her errands, 
placing her with great ceremony in the back seat, 
and later he would make a grand point of opening 
the door for her. His car had electric doors and 
windows, which I had never seen, and he allowed 
me to make them work as he took us on drives in 
the country. A picnic with Bill was a huge treat, 
and we looked forward to his coming each year; 
the rest of the summer was a downer when he 
went back to New Jersey. 

The most prominent black family in Plymouth 
in my youth was the Gray family. They had 
come to Plymouth in the second half of the 19th 
century. The progenitor. William H. Gray, and 
his wife, Matilda Newsome Gray, came from 
Virginia, where so many of Plymouth's black 
ancestors had lived in slavery times. In ways not 
entirely clear to me the Grays and the Archers 
were connected, and one of the foremothers of 

The most prominent black 
family in Plymouth in my youth 
was the Gray family. 

the family was Frances Archer, known to all and 
sundry as "Aunt Frank." As my father and his 
friends always spoke of her with great deference 
as "Miz" Archer, I never knew whether she was 
Miss, Mrs., or what, and knew enough not to ask. 

According to his obituary in the Oct. 12, 1917, 
edition of The Old Colony Memorial, William 
H. Gray was born in 1842, and enlisted in the 
U.S. Navy in the Civil War, "where he did his bit 
honorably and well." He was a member of the 
local post of the Grand Army of the Republic, and 
was for some period a commander. He was well 
known as both a singer, and an articulate speaker 
at town meeting. He engaged in a variety of 
business pursuits, and for the last period of his life 
was proprietor of a carpet cleaning company that 
he operated out of a barn adjacent to his house 
on Davis Street. He was one of the trustees of the 
Bethel Church, and with his wife Matilda, known 
as Tilly, was the parent of William A. (Ally), 

Fred, Arthur and George Gray. Matilda Gray died 
in 1 909. The sons, born in the 1 870s and 1 880s, 
were all graduates of Plymouth High School and 
they all married and went into business. 

Ally Gray ran a carpet cleaning service - "Gray 
the Cleaner" was a well-known local business 
for more than 50 years - and was the father of 
Kenneth, and Dr. Irving Gray. Fred Gray became 
a chef, and was the father of Helen Gray, a well- 
known local caterer whose confections, especially 
her ice cream pie and lollipop, were legendary; 
he was also father of Herman Gray, a driver for 
many years for the Danforth baking company and 
of Leslie Gray, who was the first black member 
of the Plymouth Fire Department. Arthur Gray, 
also a chef, was the father of Corrine Gray Walley 
who, at the time of her death, was working on 
a cookbook of the family's recipes, and was a 
singer in local choirs. Her sister Beatrice and her 
brothers left Plymouth upon their marriages, but 
she lived and died in the family homestead on 
Davis Street. George LeBaron Gray, the youngest 
of the sons, married first Stella Dennison, and 
then Zilpha Johnson Mapp. He had no children 
and was the last of his siblings to die. His second 
wife, "Aunt Z," was a descendant of a Plymouth 
black family, and one of the first black women to 
belong to the Plymouth Women's Club. 

Connected to the Grays were the Milbums 
and the Roanes. Harrison Milburn was famous 
for the quality of the ice cream he made for the 
Cooper Drug Co., and his wife. Rose Brooks, 
was the sister of Lucy Brooks, who had married 
Arthur Gray. They lived on Newfield Street near 
Milburn's sisters, with their daughter Dorothy, 
who remained unmarried, and Mary, who married 


Smithson Roane. The Roanes lived on Oak Street, 
w here Smith was well-known as a mailman, a 
horticulturalist with his own greenhouses and 
as a driving instructor. In this latter capacity 
he exercised enormous patience as he came to 
specialize in teaching widow s to drive. Once, 
when he was asked by Helen Barnes Belcher if he 
would give her driving lessons. Smith approached 
the invitation warily but replied, according to 
Mrs. Belcher. "If you could teach me Latin in 
high school 50 years ago. I guess I can teach you 
how to drive." 

Not all black people lived near the Grays, the 
Milbums. and the Roanes. Some lived in outlying 
districts, such as Manuel Robbins. who lived 
in Manomet. the Wethers family, who lived at 
Ober. near the county farm, and Mary Lehman, 
longtime bookkeeper at Jordan Hospital, who 
li\ ed at Jabez Comer. A few, including the Lyle 
family, the last of whose members. Jim and Dick, 
lived at Cold Spring, could be found at Long 
Pond and in many of the back ways and byways. 

In the 1860s a notorious colony of black 
people lived in the South Pond district, where 
\s ild and loose ways were alleged. Perhaps the 
most visible concentration of black people was 
found in the Summer. Spring, and High Street 
neighborhood in the center of the old town that 
was nearly obliterated by the urban renewal 
project of the 1960s. This area before 1960. 
however, was where a lot of black people lived 
in houses that for the most part didn't belong to 
them, under conditions that were both vibrant and 
dubious. As a child, I was warned by my parents 
in no uncertain terms that I was not to go "up 
there." My father had many friends who lived 

there, and my mother routinely walked up and 
down those streets giving piano lessons, but I was 
told to keep my distance as there were constant 
rumors of illegal card games, assaults, and. during 
Prohibition, an illegal still. 

It hadn't always been like that, and some of the 
older black families had managed to hold onto 
their property and their dignity. Not the least of 
them was Mary Jenkins, a graduate of Plymouth 

In the 1860s a notorious colony 
of black people lived in the 
South Pond district. 

High School and well known as the Latin-reading 
secretary to Dr. Edgar Dwight Hill, and one of 
the earliest and most indefatigable Jehovah's 
Witnesses. Mary lived with her mother in an old 
house on High Street, and after Dr. Hill died she 
devoted herself almost full time to evangelistic 
work, first driving her old tin Lizzy and then 
walking all over town. Soft-spoken and well- 
spoken, she was seldom bested in an argument, 
and for many years she was a familiar sight on 
the streets of Plymouth, handing out copies of 
the Watchtower and conducting remarkably 
sophisticated conversations on any topic. While 
there may have been dangers on High Street she 
seemed immune to them, and I think felons ran 
the other way when they saw her coming. 

During World War II, there was an army camp 
located on South Pond Road near Obery Street, 
and for reasons never clear to me. many of the 
soldiers were black men from the West Indies. 

They made a hit with the local black community 
and were often in our homes and in the Bethel 
Church, enjoying such names as Moody, 
Bradshaw and Jackson, and they had exquisite 
manners and crisp West Indian accents. They 
were also good singers, and introduced us to some 
of the hymns with which they were familiar from 
Jamaica and Honduras. The camp was, I believe, 
off-limits to civilians, but the soldiers enjoyed 
their liberty in the town and among the black 
families, and as the barracks were located on the 
northern side of the South Pond Road and we then 
lived on South Street just above the playground 
and opposite Town Street. I often saw the men 
walking to and from town. I never went to the 
camp but my father always spoke of how well 
behaved the men were. This is as close as I came 
to World War II. 

In the Plymouth of my youth there was one 
black member of the police force. Sgt. Arthur 
Gray, who, although a native son and a veteran 
of World War II, was prevented from becoming 
chief because of his race, as many saw it. There 
was one black man in the fire department, Leslie 
Gray, cousin of Arthur, who was alleged to have 
suffered a variety of humiliations at the hands of 
white colleagues. Kenneth Gray was a stalwart of 
the post office, a leading member of the Kiwanis 
Club, a long-serving member of the Plymouth 
Housing Authority, and a graduate of Boston 
University. In all my years in the public schools 
1 never saw one black teacher or one black 
custodian, although two generations before mine 
the father of Mary Lehman had been custodian 
of the old high school on Lincoln Street. It was a 
matter for some comment when Stephanie Gray, 


while in high school, got a job behind the news 
counter at Smith's; and when in 1959 I became 
a page in the Plymouth Public Library, that too 
caused comment. 

One of the most 
famous African 
Americans to come out of 
Plymouth in the mid-20th 
century was the scholar- 
athlete Brooks Johnson, 
who was president of 
his 1952 Plymouth High 
School class, a varsity 
letter athlete, and the 
bright young man of his 
generation. He went to 
Tufts University on a 
scholarship, and from 
there to the Olympics 
in track and field, and 
then to a distinguished 
coaching career in some 
of the best private schools in this country. Tall, 
good looking, and full of charm. Brooks made 
everything seem easy. He was a generation ahead 
of me in school, and I think I was always envious 
of his talent and annoyed by the high standard he 
set for any of us who followed him. 

Apart from my own family and the occasional 
minister at Bethel Church, such as the Rev. 
Melford Mesquitta, the most significant black 
person in my life in the Plymouth of my youth was 
our family's great friend Lila Hunt Butler, who 
was cook to Mrs. George E. Mabbett of 35 Warren 
Avenue. Lila had come north from Florida with 
her husband Charles, who also had been in service, 

Brooks Johnson, 
Plymouth native 
and president of his 
high school class 
who attended Tufts 
University on a 
scholarship and went 
on to become an 
Olympic athlete. 

and by the time I came to know Lila he was dead 
and she was very much the force of nature in the 
Mabbett family. She was the devoted treasurer 
of Bethel Church and also the source of all good 
gossip, and she loved fun and was a charming 
"spare aunt" to a lonely boy. In my eyes she could 
do anything: she was in fact an excellent cook, 
housekeeper, seamstress, and hairdresser, and she 
was always generous with desserts. She made life 
magical for the Mabbett grandchildren and for 
me, and when Mrs. Mabbett reached her old age 
and was in reduced circumstances, Lila was her 
last and best friend. She often spent her Thursday 
afternoons off with our family, and was never 
intimidated by the great and the good who so often 
filled the beautiful rooms in Mrs. Mabbett's house. 

My father, John, a Cape Verdean cranberry 
worker who had married a "Protestant colored 
woman," looked upon all of this Plymouth scene 
with some interest. His people were immigrant 
Roman Catholics who spoke English with an 
accent and identified themselves as Portuguese, 
or "Portygees," as the Yankees called them, and 
for a very long time he lived between the cultures. 
Among his own people, because of his literacy and 
natural wisdom, he was a leader; and because of 
his facility with languages he was often called upon 
to help when trouble broke out. By marrying out of 
his caste, however, he found himself marginalized 
by his own people and not fully taken in by his 
wife's world. His wife, my mother, had an entirely 
different standard to judge status and achievement, 
and she looked with a certain condescension on all 
local society which, as a Bostonian bom and bred, 
she regarded as parochial. (See: Vol. L "Plymouth 
and Some Portuguese," pp. 57-60) 

When economic necessity forced her to work 
in the households of the local gentry, having 
given up her civil service job in the State House 
in Boston upon her marriage, she was of the view 
that she was doing them a favor, and not they 
her. Once, when I asked her if we were poor, 
she replied, "Certainly not; we just didn't have 
enough money." 

A serious ethnic study of Plymouth in the 20th 
century will have to await the hands of a suitably 
qualified scholar, and the result will repay the effort 
as we will then see that Plymouth was a far more 
complicated and interesting place than the rather 
vanilla histories of our past have so far been able to 
show. What I have to offer is one man's, or, more 
to the point, one boy's, view, situated as I was at a 
most interesting time and recalling as best I can the 
personalities and circumstances that very quickly 
will pass from the scene, to be remembered by no 
one. Someone else will have the pleasure of writing 
about the Cape Verdeans in Plymouth and their 
love-hate relationship with the African Americans, 
and someone else will have to write about class and 
caste in this local community, where by the end of 
the century the gentry hardly existed. 

What I think about all of this will have to await 
my own memoir, which will be forthcoming in the 
fullness of time. What I have provided here is not 
a snapshot but perhaps more of an impressionistic 
sketch of a period through which I have lived, 
and an image - albeit partial and subjective - that 
should help to tell the story of Plymouth in the 20th 
century. If others know other, better, or more, let 
them tell their story; we can only hope that future 
generations will have some interest in what we 
have had to say. 


Drug stores and pharmacies 

John Chaffee and John Moran 

In the busy drug store-pharmacy of 1900, 
equipment in daily use included a scale, mortar 
and pestle, graduated cylinder, bulb syringe, 
Bunsen burner, evaporating dish and hydrometer. 
The pharmacist, who had been to school for 
three Nears to learn the trade, had to absorb an 
enormous amount of knowledge 
about all the drugs that had come 
down through the centuries, 
including their preparation from 
all manner of roots, leaves, seeds 
flowers and bark, as well as 
certain minerals, their properties 
and actions - often supposed. 
In addition, the pharmacist 
had to learn how to deal with 
written prescriptions, legible and 
othenvise, w hen quantification 
was usually in grains, drachms, 
minims and fluid ounces. 

A few drugs available then 
were still in use 100 years later: 
morphine, codeine, digitalis, 
quinine, colchicines and 
atropine. But many more had 
passed from the scene - such as 
mercur> and arsenic for syphilis, 
str> chnine as a cardiac and nerve 
stimulant, sulfur as a laxative 

and skin ointment, zinc as emetic or "tonic and 
astringent," all manner of purgatives, emetics and 
"alternatives" to alter digestion, elimination and 
"for use in chronic conditions" and so on. 

The pharmacist also had to prepare and 
dispense various plasters for skin application. 

Balhoni's Drug Store on Court Street in North Plymouth as it appeared in midcentury. 
Upstairs were the offices of both a dentist, l.H. Keller, and a doctor, Frank J. Abate. 
Parked in front was the drug store's delivery vehicle. 

e.g. mustard plaster for chest conditions - which 
sometimes caused severe skin bums - and, 
wearing his exterminator hat, providing chemicals 
and instructions on how to rid the home of 
flies, mosquitoes, moths, bedbugs, ants and 

"Most of what we did was 
compounding," said Richard 
Tassinari, whose family-owned 
and operated pharmacy, Balboni's 
Drug Store, was founded in North 
Plymouth in 1929. "We'd mix 
two items or more to complete a 
prescription in accordance with a 
formula that often varied from one 
doctor to another," Tassinari said. 

"Prescriptions were 49 cents 
each and we put together a cough 
syrup that sold for 95 cents a 
bottle," Tassinari recalled. 

As a young boy, Tassinari 
began working for his uncle. Joe 
Balboni, in 1944, sweeping floors, 
emptying trash and doing other 
chores. After graduating from 
Plymouth High School in 1950 and 
marrying his childhood sweetheart, 
Joan Vandini, he graduated from 
the New England College of 


The original Balhoni's Drug Store in North 
Plymouth, housed in quarters rented from the 
grocery store ofG. Canevazzi. Joe Balboni is 
standing out in front. 

Pharmacy and went to work for his uncle as 
a pharmacist. 

By the end of the 20th century, Balboni's 
had become a North Plymouth institution, a 
neighborhood pharmacy that had employed 
three generations of the same family 
and dispensed an array of medicines and 
medical-related services. 

Thanks to the stimulus of the need for 
penicillin at overseas battlefronts, the 
pharmaceutical industry exploded after 
World War II. Although the drug had been 
discovered 15 years earlier, its wartime 
production ignited a firestorm of postwar 
drug development. With abundant research 
funding available to universities and medical 
schools, whole new classes of drugs were 

developed and became available: an increasing 
variety and potency of antibiotics, cortisone 
and other steroids, anti-cancer drugs, beta- 
blockers, calcium channel blockers for the heart, 
antiarrhythmics, antihypertensives, anticoagulants, 
anticholesterols, a panoply of psychotropic drugs, 
anesthetics, immunosuppressives and, near the 
end of the century, specialized drugs to help men 
and women deal with the problems of aging. 

Joe Balboni. fr>under of the drug store that bore his rumie. 
posing in front of the store when it was located at 317 Court St. 

By the end of the century, the role of the 
pharmacist - often working in regional or 
national chain pharmacies - was reduced, some 
complained, to "count, lick and pour" - counting 
the pills prescribed, licking the label and 
pouring pills or liquids into the container. But 
in fact the pharmacy graduate of the late 20th 
century had mastered, over a six-year period, an 
enormous amount of data on a myriad of potent 
and effective drugs and had hospital training in 
supervising their administration. 

In addition, pharmacists assumed responsibility 
for detecting and avoiding drug interactions, 
supervising dosages, correctly interpreting 
prescriptions and dispensing accurately. A boon 
to accuracy was the passing of the old apothecary 
system of weights and measures in favor of the 
metric system. And the problem of interpreting 
the doctor's scribbling almost vanished once 
virtually all prescriptions were sent to the 
pharmacy through cyberspace. 

"The biggest change was computers," Tassinari 
said. "Instead of trying to decipher a doctor's 
handwriting, we got something easier to read and 
instead of manually typing labels the computer 
will print them out. It has saved a lot of time. 

"I don't know how we ever survived in 
those days," Tassinari added. "We'd work from 
seven in the morning to midnight - without air 
conditioning in the summer." 

The once common combination of a 
soda fountain and pharmacy had just about 
disappeared. Tassinari, for example, gave up 
his soda fountain in 1985 and instead offered a 
variety of medical devices - crutches, walkers and 


By the end of the century, the 
once common combination of 
a soda fountain and pharmacy 
had just about disappeared. 

With all the progress and mechanization in the 
field of pharmacy over the years, the personal 
touch and patient involvement could still be found 
at the end of the century in Plymouth in such 

small pharmacies as 
Balboni's in North 
Plymouth and The 
Medicine Shoppe 
at Jabez Corner 
where proprietor- 
pharmacist Ed David 
presided, dispensing 
wit. wisdom and 
opinion along with 
his medicines. 

'i always 
make sure I have 
time for people, 
because that's 
what my education was all about," he said. His 
was literally a "mom and pop" store, as his wife 
Laurice worked there as well, along with a few 
assistants. Ed could appear a bit gruff and stem to 
the newcomer, but that impression melted quickly 
as advice and comment were dispensed, with a 
twinkle in the eye and a ready smile. 

One measure of 20th century progress in 

EJ David, pliarmucist at the 
Medicine Shoppe at Jabez 
Corner in the late 20th 


pharmacy is to contrast public perceptions. In 
the early days of the century, a leading pharmacy 
text advised: "It is frequently necessary, and 
always advisable, to withhold from a patient the 
names and properties of the medicinal agents 
administered. This can usually be effected by the 
use of Latin technical terms." 

The late 20th century was marked by a 

barrage of drug company advertising directly to 
the public, more and more patients surfing the 
Internet in search of a diagnosis and/or treatment, 
then going to the doctor armed to the teeth with 
the latest word about their case, some of them 
with the well-meant intention of furthering the 
doctor's postgraduate education. 

iriyiiirt itifiattiaaiiiyMiiiii 

The Pilf>rim Drug Store at the corner of Main and Market streets in downtown Plymouth 
shortly before it was taken over by the CVS chain. By the end of the century the store, at 
6 Main St., housed a sporting goods store. 

Pilgrims come alive 

Carolyn Freeman Travers 

Excerpts from a paper written for this book by a former long-time Plimoth Plantation employee. 

Plimoth Plantation was conceived 
by Henry "Harry" Hornblower II, who, 
as a boy, had spent summers at his 
family's Chiltonville estate. Falling in 
love with the town of Plymouth and its 
early history, he envisioned an outdoor 
museum dedicated to the Pilgrims and 
their story. However, it was not until 
he returned from service in World 
War II that he convinced his father, 
Boston stockbroker Ralph Hornblower, 
to support the creation of a Pilgrim 
Memorial Village. In 1945, Ralph 
Hornblower donated $20,000 to the 
Pilgrim Society towards the project. 

The Pilgrim Society formed a 
Pilgrim Village Committee with Harry 
as the chairman. The committee hired 
Strickland and Strickland, a Boston 
architectural firm with Plymouth connections 
that had been involved in the restorations of the 
Sparrow and Howland houses, to begin drawing 
up plans. The committee also purchased 30 
acres of land near the Plymouth Country Club. 
However, the Pilgrim Society soon decided that 
the project was too. large to manage and would be 



An early conceptual drawing of a recreated Pilgrim Village by the 
Boston architectural firm of Strickland and Strickland. 

better handled by a separate organization. On Oct. 
2, 1947, Plimoth Plantation was incorporated. Its 
first board of governors was composed of local 
businessmen: George C. P. Olsson, Walder J. 
Engstrom, Henry W. Barnes and Ellis Brewster, 
with Harry Hornblower as president. 

The Plantation's first project was the "First 
House," a small building intended to represent 
a "typical" early Pilgrim house. Built in the fall 

of 1948, the First House opened to 
the public in May 1949. Located on 
the waterfront near Plymouth Rock, 
the First House served as a tourist 
information center and also publicized 
the fledgling museum, allowing the 
board to gauge visitor interest. It 
proved a huge success, with 337,380 
visitors during the 1949 season. 
Arthur Pyle, a Plymouth High School 
history teacher, was the first Plantation 
employee, hired to manage the site and 

Plimoth Plantation's first recreated Pilgim building, 
"First House." built in 1948 and located on the 
waterfront near Plymouth Rock. 


"TtM Fir»l Fort' A Ptpiicm ml Ptymourh PUntatmn, Plywouth M.^ 

The Fen Mt'erin^^hoiist'. built by the Plantation in 195.^. 
Mas also located on the waterfront near "First House" 
and Plymouth Rock. 

train the seasonal costumed staff. 

The second structure built for the Plantation 
was the Fort/Meetinghouse. Built in 1953 by local 
builder William "Cookie" Kellar, it was dedicated 
in a ceremony highlighted by a speech by Harold 
E. Stassen. President Eisenhower's Director for 
Mutual Security, that was broadcast by national 
television. The interior of the fort contained some 
antique pieces, but primarily housed mannequins 
dressed in Pilgrim costumes representing a church 
ser\ ice. A continuous tape loop played appropriate 
1 7th century psalms .... 

Between 1951 and 1957, plans for constructing 
a replica of the ship that brought the Pilgrims 
to Plymouth were successfully carried out in 
England and at the Plantation. (See: "A Mayflower 
Returns," pp. 11-19.) 

The building and sailing of Mayflower II, 
however, was not the only project occupying 
the Plantation during the 1950s. The 30 acres 
of land that had been purchased for an outdoor 
museum was going to be split by a state highway 


that became Exit 4 off a new Route 3 South, 
making the site unsuitable for the museum's 
purposes. The search resumed for an appropriate 
property. The Hornblowers once again came to the 
Plantation's aid, this time in the form of a bequest 
from Harry's grandmother, Hattie F. Hornblower 
— Eel River Farm plus some other property, 
stretching from River Street to Warren Avenue. 

The farm's dairy barn was refitted for office and 
exhibit space and two houses were demolished to 
clear the new village site. In May 1956, revised 
plans for the new property were presented. They 
included the Fort/Meetinghouse, which was to 
be moved from the waterfront, 13 replica Pilgrim 
houses, six other buildings, a grist mill, trading 
post and reception center. The estimated cost was 
$1 million. The Plantation began a fund-raising 
drive in the summer of 1956 for the proposed 
village and Mayflower II berth. Appearances by 
both Warwick Charlton and Bill Baker, who had 

been instrumental in the construction of the ship, 
helped greatly, as did promotional displays in 
Filene's department store in downtown Boston. 

In 1956, the Plantation hired the former 
assistant director of Boston's Museum of Science, 
David B. Freeman, as assistant to the president, 
confirming him as the museum's executive 
director in December of that year. On May 4, 
1957, ground was broken for a Pilgrim village. By 
the end of 1958, Mayflower II was at its new berth 
at the State Pier, the fort had been moved to a hill 
overlooking the village site and four houses were 

The following year, the Plantation hired 
anthropological doctoral candidate James "Jim" 
Deetz from Harvard to set up the museum's Indian 
camp, which was built next to the Pilgrim village. 
Deetz brought to the organization his skills in 
the new field of historical archaeology, and an 
archaeological program was established the next 

The Hornblower family's Eel River Farm estate c. 1920. Note the tennis court in front. The house was demolished 
in 1957 to make room for the recreated Pilgrim Memorial Village. 

Archaeologist James Deetz, left, with Plimoth 
Plantation founder Harry Hornblower at the William 
Bradford II archaeological site c. 1966. 

year. He also attracted other professionals who 
were likewise drawn to the new social history 
over the more conventional political approach to 
the past. 

The Plantation in 1966 was a mix of 
mannequin tableaux, static exhibits and costumed 

Display of mannequins in the FortI Meetinghouse 
representing Governor Bradford and Elder Brewster 
c. 1965. 

staff. The hostesses and guides demonstrated 
crafts such as basket weaving and candle 
dipping, or the technique of cutting planks with 
a frame saw. The houses were furnished with 
antiques and the garden beds were planted with a 
preponderance of "colonial" herbs. 

In 1965, however, the museum began a 
major review of its 
organizational structure 
and programs. The 
resultant master plan 
was ultimately much too 
expensive to implement, 
but pushed the museum 
further away from the 
old style of presenting 
the Pilgrim story in 
favor of one which 
concentrated on the 
everyday lives of the 
colonists. In 1967, Deetz 
was promoted to the 

new position of assistant director, signaling the 
change that was about to propel the museum in an 
entirely new direction. 

In early 1968, the staff began a yearlong series 
of meetings to redesign the museum's programs, 
based on the theories of a new social history 
and grounded in archaeological excavations. 
Unveiled the following spring, the new living 
history concept focused on the early Plymouth 
colonists, and to a lesser extent on the area Native 
Americans, as everyday people living in another 
time. The way they saw the world around them, 
their possessions and methods of work were all 
to be duplicated for the visitors to experience 

for themselves. Sheep, pigs and chickens were 
introduced on site. 

The Indian camp was removed from the village 
and rebuilt as the Algonquian Summer Camp by 
the Eel River, where archaeology indicated Native 
Americans had lived. The Pilgrim Village was 
stripped of mannequins, except for the fort, and 

the static displays and 
antiques removed. The 
village was now to 
represent the colony 
in 1627 as a cohesive 
whole. The houses 
were refurnished with 
a minimal number of 
reproductions and the 

A hostess tends her garden in 
the Village c. 1966. 

Wampanoag interpreter Nanepasheniet at 
the Algonquian Summer Camp c. 1968. 


■- '. I 

Archaeology studenis < umr^ ilic AllcrtcuiCiislviuiu 
site in Kingston c. 1970. As a result. Pilgrim Village 
houses and gardens were rebuilt to better reflect 1 7th 
century realities. 

gardens were planted with vegetables in addition 
to herbs. 

Staff was encouraged to remove the ubiquitous 
\\ hite collars and cuffs, to go barefoot and get 
dirtv' while engaged in period-correct work. In an 
April 1969 Old Colony Memorial article. "Pilgrim 
Stor> Stripped to Essentials." Deetz said, "What 
I have in mind is functional simplicity and visitor 
involvement. . . . We want people to feel what it 
was like to be a Pilgrim struggling to stay alive in 

Staff was encouraged to remove 
the ubiquitous white collars and 
cuffs^ to go barefoot and get 
dirty while engaged in period- 
correct work. 


a strange and hostile environment." 

While some visitors welcomed the new 
more interactive style, others hated the scruffy 
appearance and removal of the mannequin 
tableaux. One letter published in the Old Colony 
Memorial in October 1969 stated, "Two years 
ago the Plantation was furnished, had life-like 
figures and gave one a wonderful warm feeling 
of really stepping back into history. Now it is 
filthy, primitive and repulsive. ... there is nothing 
to inspire even a newcomer ... disgrace to the 
courage and bravery of America's first families." 

Not all of the staff approved of the introduction 
of living history, and a number left the Plantation 
at that time. But for those who embraced the 
changes, there was a real sense of mission, of 
being on the cutting edge of something new 
and exciting. The old style had been safe and 
unchallenging. The new focus 
forced you to reexamine 
your own assumptions about 
the people of the past. They 
weren't just people like 
ourselves, albeit in funny 
clothes, but individuals with a 
very different way of looking at 
the world and their place in it. 
Actual productive work instead 
of periodic demonstrations 
gave a different rhythm to the 
day (if a far cry from life on a 
real farm). 

Attempting to recreate 
the landscape based on 
archaeological digs had its own 
interesting quirks. For example. 

excavations of the area around a house site 
showed that trash was often thrown out a window; 
the fan-shaped pattern that resulted pinpointed 
the location of windows and doors. Staff pitching 
shards of broken pottery to replicate that pattern 
saw young visitors eagerly collecting them as 
souvenirs. It was never possible to ask anyone to 
return the trash that you had obviously thrown 
away as unwanted. 

As part of the overall revamping of the 
museum, the renamed Algonquian Summer Camp 
had been moved out of the village to a site on the 
Eel River.... In 1973, the Native American Studies 
Program was created, and for the first time 
Native Americans were hired and charged with 
presenting their own history. There were also two 
Native Wampanoags elected to the Plantation's 
board of trustees. Since then, the site has been 

Pilgrim interpreter perjorming period-correct work c. 1970. Note the change 
from the white-collared hostess of the mid-1960s. 

staffed primarily by Native People. 

In 1973 there also was a major 
shift in the Pilgrim Village. All of 
the houses built prior to that year 
had been the work of professional 
carpenters. That year staff began 
building the Billington House 
based on evidence gleaned from the 
excavation of an archaeological site 
in Kingston. The new structure was 
very different in appearance from 
box-framed houses with board walls. 
The new frame was earth-fast, built 
with corner posts set several feet into 
the ground. The walls were made of 
wattle, woven saplings set between 
the studs, plastered over with daub, 
a mixture of wet clay, sand, manure 
and straw. The only two windows 
were very small and the floor was 
beaten earth rather than board. The resulting 
house was small, dark and tended to be dusty. It 
proved, however, that such houses could be built 
by non-professionals in front of the public... 

The "Pilgrim" holiday of Thanksgiving was 
celebrated in the Village every year until 1974. 
Research indicated that the original 1621 event 
had likely been held in early fall after harvest, 
rather than late November. From 1974 to 1981 
the museum staged an elaborate traditional 
English harvest festival on Columbus Day 
weekend, complete with feasting, dancing and 
sports. In 1982 the event was replaced by a 
reenactment of a documented 1627 event, the visit 
of a contingent of Dutchmen from the colony of 
New Amsterdam. 

The livestock prof^ram included sheep, goats, chickens and cattle, 
as shown above. At right, a costumed interpreter works with 
Pilgrim Village sheep. 

In October 1976 after a brief illness, long- 
time director David Freeman died. The board 
chose as his replacement, David Case, who 
came from a banking background. Under his 
leadership, the museum was reorganized along 
a more corporate structure. A management team 
of division heads was formed shortly after Case's 
arrival. Deetz left the next year to return full-time 
to teaching. . . . 

The next major change was the introduction of 
first-person interpretation. Unlike other changes 
that had been imposed by the administration, 
this was a change that originated with the staff. 
Dressed in reproduction clothing in reproduction 
houses, and given period-correct work to do, staff 
members turned themselves into living artifacts. 
Two men, Robert "Bob" Marten and William 

"Bill" Pine, were instrumental in this 
change. Beginning in 1976, Marten and Pine 
would occasionally take on the persona of 
Plymouth colonists, usually Myles Standish 
and Edward Winslow respectively. First- 
person interpretation is now fairly common 
and well known as a museum technique, but 
then it was new and largely untried. 

After initial reluctance, the Plantation 
management formally adopted the first- 

person technique in 1978. This change, however, 
required a new style of employee and, as with the 
introduction of living history, many left at that 
time, not comfortable with the new technique. 
The staff muddled along with the training 
materials already in existence, but the material 
suitable for a general overview was woefully 
inadequate for the specific in-depth knowledge 
now required to create an individual character. In 
1984, funding by the National Endowment for the 
Humanities allowed a group of Plantation staff 


to travel to England and Holland to gather the 
support materials necessary . and hire consultants 
on specific topics such as 17th century English 

While livestock had been in the 
Milage since 1968. there had been 
no attempt to locate historically 
correct breeds. In 1981 . the new 
chief curator. Peter Cook, began 
the Rare Breeds Program. Over 
the next nine years, the museum 
acquired an impressive number of 
animals, and in 1990 a large bam 
was constructed, big enough to 
house them all in the winter. 

Unfortunately, on Feb. 18. 
1992. a fire destroyed the barn and 
more than 77 animals were killed, 
wiping out the entire program 
overnight. The museum quickly 
launched an appeal for money 
to rebuild both the bam and the 
program. The public response 
was overwhelmingly generous, 
from major donors to children contributing 
their allowance. A new bam was built later that 
same year, and the farm staff was able to begin 
replacing the animals lost. 

During the 1980s Plantation trustees and 
management reexamined the museum's financial 
stmcture and physical plant. The institution had 
always depended largely on admissions and 
sales for revenue, making budgeting difficult. 
It was also highly vulnerable to occurrences 
outside its control, whether the polio scare of the 
1950s or the gas crisis of the 1970s. To stabilize 

the Plantation's financial position, the museum 
launched a fund-raising campaign to create 
an endowment sufficient to weather economic 
downturns. In 1986, construction began on the 

to begin major restoration work. In 1990, the 
ship sailed for the first time in 25 years. Public 
response was so enthusiastic that the museum 
began a program of periodic sails that continued 
for some years. 

Plimoth Plantation was founded in 
1947 with the purpose of "telling the 
Pilgrim story." What that story has 
been, who has told it, and how they 
have done so have changed greatly 
over the years. As the 21st century 
unfolds, the museum will no doubt 
continue to reinvent itself; always 
striving to be an institution of which its 
founder, Harry Hornblower, could be 

The Plantation 's Henry Hornblower II Visitor Center, which opened 
in 1987. The building houses offices, two theaters, a gift shop, exhibit 
galleries and food service facilities. 

new Visitor Center, a 50,000 square foot facility 
that would house offices, two theaters, gift shops, 
and exhibit galleries, and enable the food service 
to host functions. 

During this period, Mayflower II also came 
under scrutiny. In the years since its arrival, 
the ship had sat quietly at State Pier except for 
occasional trips for maintenance and one sail for 
filming in 1964. Like any wooden vessel, the ship 
required constant maintenance, something that 
had been neglected in the 1970s. After a thorough 
survey, the ship was sent in 1981 to a shipyard 

Plimoth Plantation upper management c. 1996. From 
left, Jaime Haines, Jim Baker, Liz Lodge, David Case, 
Doug Shropshire and John Keenum. They are posed 
in front of a Kerry cow in the new Ma.xwell Barn, 
constructed after the 1992 barn fire. 



Although William H. ''Cozy'' Barrett died in 1975, more than a quarter-century later people in 
Plymouth still remembered him, either as a saint or sinner. While the town changed dramatically 
during those years. Cozy's legacy lived on and many Plymoutheans never forgot him. Early in 
the 21st century, Bobbi Clark, a former Plymouth Public Library trustee and reporter for WATD 
radio in Marshfield, interviewed some of them. 

Bobbi Clark 

Alba Thompson, who later hi the century 
would distinguish herself as Plymouth's first 
woman selectman, remembered Cozy Barrett as a 
kind of "legendary scoundrel." 

"Those who loved him would say he was a 
wonderful legend, and those who abhorred him 
would say he was a scoundrel," Thompson said, 
and added: "He did both good and bad in the time 
he was a selectman, but he was always colorful. 
He probably would have liked to call himself a 
Robin Hood, taking from the rich and giving to 
the poor, if that was possible. And, sometimes 
in those old days it was." As Thompson recalled 
those days: "I was a little girl growing up when 
Cozy began to become a political influence in 
Plymouth. I was away from town for many years 
while he was a selectman, but his nature and the 
stories connected with Cozy spread far and wide. 
Plymouth's population during the time I was 
growing up and well into the 1960s was no more 

than 13 or 14 thousand, which meant that when 
you walked downtown you knew everybody. 
People did a lot of walking back then; my family 
didn't have a car. 

"A week's pay from Puritan Mills, where my 
mother worked, came in cash in little brown 
envelopes on Friday and the stores on Court 

Cozy BarretVs modus 
operandi was to dispense 
largesse - and he was very 
good at it. 

Street stayed open until 9 that evening to 
accommodate the shoppers. That was the era of 
Cozy Barrett, when he knew everybody. Back 
then, no one who ever grew up in this town, or 

was here for any length of time did not know or 
meet Cozy. He went to every funeral going. Cozy 
helped everyone he could, as long as they were 
down on their luck or in modest circumstances. 
He was particularly beloved in North Plymouth." 

Charlie Vandini, the longtime proprietor of 
Charlie's Hardware who became known as the 
"Mayor of North Plymouth," remembered Cozy 
for his generosity in a time of need after Vandini's 
North Plymouth home had been damaged by fire 
in 1967. "We were out of our house for about 
three or four months. Cozy (who was then both 
a selectman and an assessor) came into the store 
and said, 'Because you're not living in your 
home, we'll take care of you as far as the taxes 
are concerned for that period of time.' This was 
surprising to me. I never expected it because, why 
would he come to me? But that was the type of 
individual he was." 

According to Cozy's grandniece, Linda 


Officer John Barrett 

Rapoza McAlduff . Cozy 
differed greatly from his 
brother John, a Plymouth 
policeman \\ ho was Linda's 
grandfather. "It was almost 
a Whitey Bulger-Bill Bulger 
situation." Linda said, 
referring to well-known 
South Boston brothers, one 
a successful politician, the 
other a convicted 

criminal. "'Cozy liked to gamble and one time he 
was in the backroom of some establishment 
gambling with some folks and his brother was 
among a group of policemen who raided the 
place." Linda said. "Policeman Barrett favored 
strict interpretation of the law. while Cozy 
Barrett's interpretation was sometimes elastic." 
Bill Franks, who chaired the zoning board of 

Arons Furniture store on Middle Street in downtown Plymouth during the 
early 1950s. 


appeals during some of the Barrett era, also 
observed the kind of person Cozy was. His 
comment: "Cozy Barrett's modus operandi was to 
dispense largesse - and he was very good at it." 

Bruce Arons. whose father owned a furniture 
store on Middle Street in downtown Plymouth, 
remembered Cozy as one who usually got his 
way when it came to Plymouth town government. 
"Cozy was the town government," he said. "Even 
though we had a five-member board of selectmen, 
if you wanted anything in Plymouth, you talked 
to Cozy first, whether for permission to put up a 
fence, get a building permit or deal with a zoning 
issue. Although Cozy never served in an official 
capacity in any of those areas. Cozy was the 
person you went to see if you needed some 
assistance in presenting your request before 
the board. His influence was that great," Arons 

Other people remembered 
Cozy's goodness. Old Colony 
Memorial publisher emeritus 
Phyllis Dale Hughes, for 
example. On a sunny day in 1951 
she was in the yard of the family 
cottage at White Horse Beach, 
minding some of the younger 
children (there had been nine, 
eight of whom survived). "This 
gentleman stopped his vehicle 
as my mother was scrubbing the 
sheets on a scrub-board in the 
backyard, because in 1951 there 
were no lovely conveniences 
in the cottage; it was strictly a 
cottage," Hughes recalled. The 

man asked her mother where she came from 
and was told the family lived year-round in 
Arlington, but that she had been coming to the 
beach in the summer since she was a little girl. 
In the late 1940s she and her husband bought the 
75-year-old cottage at the comer of Avenue A and 
Taylor Avenue for $2,300 furnished so they could 
vacation together as a family. The man, who was 
Cozy Barrett, said, "It must be a struggle with all 
those children." Her mother told him that it was, 
but that she and her husband were dedicated to 
their family. He said, "I'll go back [to the town] 
and check how much you're paying for taxes, 
and see if I can do anything for the taxes on this 
house ."As a result, the family saved $2 a month. 
The monthly mortgage payment, including 
principal, interest and taxes, went from $13 to 
$11. "That sometimes wasn't easy to pay in the 
wintertime," Hughes recalled. Of course Cozy 
never did get a vote from her parents because they 
resided in another town. But her mother "told 
that story a thousand times in my lifetime, about 
how much Cozy Barrett 
meant to her and the $2 a 
month he had saved her. I 
heard Cozy Barrett's name 
repeatedly in my household 
.... I think my mother 
was saying it right up to 
her deathbed because she 
appreciated it so much. She 
used to say to people. T 
hope you're going to vote 
for Mr. Barrett because he's a wonderful man.'" 
Though Cozy obviously admired Mrs. Dale's 
devotion to her family, former selectman David 

David Tarantino 

Tarantino said Cozy had a 
different opinion about women 
outside the home. "Cozy was 
very outspoken," Tarantino 
remembered. "In today's society 
he would probably be termed 
very politically incorrect. I 
kind of liked him for that. For 
example, he didn't have much 
use for women in politics. I can 
remember that even I was a little 
shocked when two nice ladies 
were before the board with some 
issue. I don't know whether Cozy 
cared about the issue or not, but 
what he said to them was, 'Do 
you ladies have any children?' 
They both said yes and he said, 
'Well, what the heck are you 
doing down here? You should be 
home taking care of your kids.'" 

Cozy's thoughts about what women should or 
shouldn't be doing extended to other activities as 
well, according to Mikki Chaffee: "Sometime in 
the 1970s I walked into town hall and there sitting 
in an armchair near the entrance was Cozy. He 
looked me over and asked me who I was. I told 
him my name and said I knew who he was. 'What 
are you here for? May I help you?' he asked. I told 
him I was a real estate broker and was going to the 
building department to check zoning on a property 
I was trying to list. He was very interested and 
bluntly asked who my husband was. I told him 
I didn't have a husband, that I was divorced. He 
made a disgusted face and said, 'A girl like you 
should be warming a man's bed and not running 

1975 Board of Selectmen shortly before Cozy's death. From left. Cozy, Clarence 
Krueger, Chairman David Tarantino, Ken Tavares, Roger Silva. 

around trying to do business!' Speechless, I 
hurried away as fast as I could. Frankly, he sort of 
scared me." 

Scare tactics were a part of Cozy's repertoire, 
according to former selectman Roger Silva. 
"When I was running against him the first time, he 
had a radio show on WPLM on Sundays - it was 
a series about six weeks long. My cousin Alfred 
Almeida was on the planning board at the time 
and ended up being state rep for nine years. "The 
Godfather" movie was out at that time, so Cozy 
used that analogy. He referred to my cousin as the 
"godfather" and said that we were all his stooges. 
He said Alfred had infiltrated the planning board 
and was running the operation from the Young 
America Club in North Plymouth and that now we 


were trying to infiltrate the board 
of selectmen, meaning me. He said 
the people had forgotten what he. 
Cozy, did for them, that during the 
strike at the Cordage he brought 
them beer and sandwiches and the 
people of North Plymouth should 
know better - and it was enough to 
get him the votes to win." 

But the next time Silva ran for 
selectman he did not oppose Cozy 
and he won. "I walked into the 
selectman's office that first night 
after I'd been elected and sworn in 
and Cozy says to me, 
'Congratulations Silva, I think 
you're going to be here a long time. 
But remember, in politics you make 
friends and you make enemies, just 
make sure you make more friends 
than enemies.'" 
Silva served as a selectman with Cozy for two 
years. "It was the most interesting experience of 
my life in politics," he said. 
"I learned how he got the 
name Cozy - because of 
how he operated. "Cozy 
was smart enough to make 
friends with us real early 
and he used to invite us up 
to his club on South Street. 
We'd go up after a meeting 
and sit around. He'd have 
coldcuts and beverages for us and start talking. 
But what he was really doing was finding out our 
positions on different things. He was counting 

Roger Silva 


votes and he was very good at it. He'd know 
ver\ early on w hat the vote w as going to be on a 
certain subject, whether it be a hquor license, a 
permit or an appointment, and knowing the vote, 
he could then go to the individual being appointed 
or getting the liquor license, and make overtures 
to that person - \\ hether it was for favors in the 
future or what, that will probably never be known. 
So I learned not to tell him how 1 was going to 
vote." Silva recalled. 

But not talking things over with Cozy could 
be the kiss of death for a project, as one young 
man learned. Years ago. Bruce Arons was a young 
businessman working with his father at Arons 
Furniture on Middle Street. Bruce was supporting 
a plan to get additional parking for downtown. 
Cozy didn't like the idea as it was proposed, so 
he said to Bob Arons, Bruce "s dad, "I'm going to 
teach that boy a lesson." 

Bruce remembered the lesson well: "I served 
as chairman of the downtown parking committee 
- one of the infamous committees that go on 
forever - never actually building anything, but 
they work on it. 

"Cozy represented the hard-working class of 
North Plymouth, the Cordage employees, and on 
the flip side, he represented all of the successful 
business people and investors from the Warren 
Avenue portion of Plymouth. He was able to walk 
that line." 

Arons explained: "In order to meet some needs 
of the working class, he would go over to Warren 
Avenue to the influential bankers and so forth, the 
projjerty owners. At one time he was also the 
assessor, and he had the power to reduce your 
taxes. I guess you would call him a mediator. 

What he did was use this ability to bring two 
opposing interest groups together to try and 
resolve something or get them to the point where 
they both felt they got what they were looking for. 
Cozy took care of all of that and the needs of both 
sides. And in the minds of each special interest 
group, he was solely representing them - that's 
why he was called Cozy Barrett. As far as the 
working class was concerned, he was 100 percent 
their champion. On the other side. Cozy was the 
champion of the upper class in the community. 
That's the way it was, and that was his talent. 

"About the parking lot," Arons said, " I was 
just getting involved in community activities and 

... not talking things over with 
Cozy could be the kiss of 
death for a project, 

that's where I started because as a business man, 
we needed parking. 

"The interesting thing is that over the years, 
my dad and Cozy became good friends. Now 
when I got on this parking committee my dad was 
very supportive. Plymouth had 12,000 people or 
maybe less at that time. You didn't really want to 
get into too many strong differences of opinion 
because it could affect your business. My dad 
said, yes, we need parking, but try and do it in 
a politically astute manner, which meant, see if 
Cozy Barrett would support this, and that's all he 
said. So, for me it was a learning process. 

"The parking proposal concerned an area on 
North Park Avenue, I believe where the Radisson 

Hotel is now. Prior to the Radisson, I think the 
A&P supermarket was there. The market moved 
out and the land was available, and we thought 
that would be great for a parking lot. not a garage, 
to serve the tourists when they came to town. 
Back then the perception of tourism was not what 
it is today, which is an industry, a very lucrative 
industry. Back then the attitude was that tourists 
were getting in the way of so-called native 
Plymoutheans. So people generally didn't want to 
do anything to encourage tourism, just keep them 
out of the downtown. "(Cozy once said at town 
meeting that "It was an ill-wind that blew the 
Mayflower into Plymouth Harbor." -Editor) 

Arons' committee put the parking lot proposal 
on the ballot. "We went to the different boards, 
we held public hearings to get feedback, and we 
gathered enough support so that we thought we 
could win a townwide vote," Arons continued. 
"But while we were gathering support for this. 
Cozy Barrett approached my dad and made it 
clear that he didn't think this was good for the 
town. Cozy believed that there was probably a 
better use for the property and it would be a waste 
of tax dollars - there could be a better investment 
somewhere else. He said to my dad, 'You know, 
Bruce is becoming very vocal in town. Why don't 
you have him come and see me and we can talk 
about it. Maybe somewhere down the line we 
can work together. And we'll get the parking or 
whatever's needed, but right now, this isn't what 
we need and it isn't a good idea. He certainly isn't 
going to get it, so why don't you ask him to come 
talk to me.' 

"So, my dad said to me, 'Cozy is a very strong 
voice in the community, and even though you've 


gone out and spoken to different 
groups, I still think you ought to talk 
to him.' This was Cozy, he wouldn't 
go speaking to different groups, he'd 
work behind the scenes. 

"Well, 1 did meet with him; I think 
it was at McGrath's [restaurant]. 
Cozy held court at McGrath's on 
Water Street. Years ago that was 
the watering hole for politicians in 
Plymouth and 

every week after the selectmen's 
meeting, we'd go down there. 
Everybody - planning board and 
zoning - after their meetings, they'd 
end up at McGrath's. But Cozy was 
never there during those particular 
times. He had a table in the back 
corner of the dining area, and during 
the day he would be at that table, 
sitting there with his trademark red 
socks on. If people were concerned 
about something, they would come 
in and have a cup of coffee and talk to Cozy. 
You always knew when he was there because 
he parked his car outside; it was a big car, a 
Lincoln town car, I think. And that car was the 
only ostentatious thing about him. He was rather 
humble in appearance - arrogant at times, but 

"Of course, the owners of 
McGrath's were very friendly with Cozy and 
you have to remember too, that many of those 
buildings had leases with the town; they still 
do. I can tell you how those sweetheart deals 
originally came about, way back when, and that's 

Town Square in the early 1950s looking toward the Unitarian Church. The town 
house on the left was abandoned in 1 952 and town offices were moved to the former 
high school building on Lincoln Street. Constructed in 1749 as a courthouse, the 
former town house was later reopened as a museum and listed on the National 
Register of Historic Places. 

because of Cozy Barrett. He was very influential 
on the waterfront and with the fishermen; his 
hand reached into just about everybody's lives - 
professional or otherwise. So I went to see Cozy 
about the parking lot. I didn't tell him that my 
dad suggested that I speak to him. When I did 

He was rather humble in 
appearance - arrogant at times, 
but humble. 

bring the subject up, he told me I 
was kind of doing it, in his words, 
'ass-backwards' and that I should 
have come to him first. He said, 'Well 
let me tell you, young man, you've 
got a lot to learn." I guess you could 
say he took me to the shed. He said, 
'Now look, people are not going to 
vote in favor of this, they're going 
to listen to me and I'm going to tell 
them that right now this isn't a good 
thing for the town. We can't afford 
to buy this property. So why don't 
you save everybody a lot of time. I'm 
advising that you just withdraw it. 
Your parking committee should just 
say, well it's on the ballot, but we're a 
little premature on this, so why don't 
we wait.' And to me, he said, 'You're 
wasting your time.' 

"I was very young and I thought, 
who is Cozy Barrett to tell me I'm 
wasting my time? It's the Cozy 
Barrett way or it's no way. I believed that it was 
the right thing to do and that the people would in 
fact support it because it was in the best interests 
of the town. So I said, 'Well Cozy, I think you're 
wrong on this one. We're going to get that land 
and put a parking lot in there.' He said, 'Well, 
young man, I don't have anything more to say to 
you. Think about the advice I gave you.' 

Shortly thereafter. Cozy called Bruce's dad and 
told him, "your son is hell bent on this. He's got 
a lot to learn and I'm sure he will. But I want to 
teach him a lesson. The best way to educate him 
is to show him that he's got to have patience and 


follow the system as it is in place." 

"Our store on Middle Street had a little corner 
w indow where we always displayed a special of 
the month or the week," Bruce remembered. "So 
Cozy said to my dad, Td like you to provide me 
with a recliner and put it in that corner window. 
I'm going to sit there on voting day and read my 
paper. People will come by and come in and I'm 
going to have a sign and I'm going to talk about 
that parking thing." Of course. Cozy being Cozy, 
he got the word around that he was going to be 
there. Cozy said, 'By the end of the day, when the 
votes come in. we'll see what happens.' 

"I was not pleased to have my adversary sitting 
in my place of business, but my dad felt it was 
going to be a good learning experience for me. My 
dad was very wise; he didn't issue any ultimatums, 
he just let me do things the way I wanted to and 
let Cozy do what he wanted also. He didn't want 
to jeopardize the relationship he had with Cozy 
Barrett, or his relationship with his son. And as 
it relates to Cozy, I'll put quotes on that word 

"So the referendum failed. It wasn't even close. 
That vote was his statement to me: 'Young man, 
if you w ant to come along and have some kind of 
impact in the community, you better know Cozy 
Barrett still rules.' He didn't say those words, 
but that was the message I got. I'd say this was 
sometime in the late to mid-1960s. I saw him 
afterwards and he would always say hello with a 
twinkle in his eye to remind me. 

"That's when I began to think maybe I should 
get involved politically in town. No disrespect to 
Cozy because when all is said and done, most of 
what Cozy did, his presence and involvement, I 

think you would find very few people that would 
say that Cozy created a negative impact on the 

"I just felt that this isn't the process. It wasn't 
so much the way he talked to me. Cozy wasn't 
college educated but he knew how to talk and get 
his message through without [being] insulting. He 
was straightforward; there were no fancy words 
with Cozy Barrett," Arons recalled. 

David Tarantino, who also served with Cozy 
on the board of selectmen, agreed with Arons. 

Cozy^s words may not have 
been fancy^ but they 
were effective, 

"Cozy's words may not have been fancy, but 
they were effective. I guess you could say that 
for Plymouth, he represented a really big change. 
Before Cozy, in order to be a selectman in 
Plymouth, you had to pretty much be from the 
Mayflower. I mean if you didn't come over on the 
Mayflower, you weren't going to be a selectman. 
Cozy kind of broke that mold. The vast majority of 
the selectmen before him were pretty much dyed- 
in-the-wool old Plymoutheans, rather than recent 
immigrants. He was ahead of his time that way. 
Not only was he the first ever non-Mayflower- 
descendent on the board of selectmen, but he 
broke all the rules of how you were supposed to be 
(as a selectman). He didn't come in and say, "I'm 
going to be like these guys.' Instead, he came in 
and said, 'I'm going to be who I am.' 

"Cozy didn't mince words, he knew where he 

stood and you knew where you stood with him. 
He didn't please everybody; there were people 
who thought he didn't treat the office of selectman 
with the solemn dignity that it deserved. And I 
think that sometimes people carry themselves 
with the idea this is so important, what a heavy 
burden. Who are they kidding? None of that with 
Cozy - he wouldn't let you get too impressed 
with yourself." Tarantino said. 

While Cozy tried to impress people with the 
importance of his ideas on the way that things 
should be done, he often accomplished this in the 
social setting of the AMVETS club, according to 
Tarantino. "I never knew the whole deal with the 
AMVETS but Cozy kind of ran the club. After the 
selectmen's meetings - this was a new board of 
selectmen, you know, with Roger Silva and I 
think Kenny Tavares - they'd go to the AMVETS 
club. Cozy didn't drink at all, but for some reason 
he had all these pull spouts on the liquor bottles 
and they were so seldom used, if ever, that they 
had fruit flies in them. So you'd go up to get a 
drink and he'd give you a glass with ice in it and 
you'd pour yourself a whisky with all these fruit 
flies floating around in there. But anyway, the 
meetings at the AMVETS were where most of the 
real decisions in town were made. That's where 
business got done, not at the actual selectmen's 
meetings. It was how things went." 

Roger Silva said that the club was funded 
by the town. "Cozy would get up at every town 
meeting and convince them that the town had a 
responsibility to give the veterans a place to meet. 
He convinced town meeting to pay half the rent 
and heat for the space above the old South Street 
fire station, which was in operation then as a fire 


station. If someone had really checked the law 
- no one did because Cozy was so forceful - all 
that was required was to provide a place for the 
veterans to meet. They could have been given a 
room at town hall. Actually, the AM VETS was 
like Cozy's own private club, and when he passed 
on it almost went belly up because there was no 
money in the treasury to keep it running. I think 
Cozy had his own way of running it." 

Many people believe that Cozy had his own 
way of running things in town. Charlie Vandini's 
recollection: "Cozy had his own political agenda. 
At one time there was a piece of land that was 
situated between South Meadow and Federal 
Furnace roads - quite a big piece of land - and 
the individuals involved were willing to sell it 
to the town. I think it was $125 an acre. Well, 
Cozy didn't want that. He thought that was too 
much money, and he didn't want to give the two 
individuals - I won't mention their names - the 
satisfaction of buying the land. Years later at a 
town meeting intermission, I happened to be in 
the hallway with Cozy discussing schools - where 
they should be and all that. Cozy said the best 
place was between Federal Furnace and South 
Meadow roads, but because these two individuals 
had owned the land, he hadn't wanted to give 
them the satisfaction of buying it from them." 

Roger Silva offered his comments: "Cozy was 
very controlling and he played upon the fears 
of the taxpayers, which still happens today. He 
prevented us from buying a piece of property up 
on Route 44 where we voted to put a school. Well, 
he got that on the ballot and got it overturned and 
people thought that was the biggest thing since 
sliced bread. The problem was we then had to 

build a school elsewhere, where Plymouth North 
is today. The property off of Route 44 ended up 
becoming a development of three or four hundred 
houses, which required us to build another school. 
So he really didn't save us a thing. It ended up 
costing us more in the long run." 

Looking back, Silva wasn't the only one who 
thought Cozy's ideas and convictions surely cost 
the town more in the long run; Alba Thompson 
was another. "I was told that it was Cozy who 
refused to build the new high school with one 
whole wing of classrooms, which of course 
we needed as soon as it opened in 1963," she 
recalled. "He just didn't want to spend the money, 
didn't want to raise taxes, all worthy of course, 
except that it indicated that neither did Cozy want 
to change Plymouth from what he knew." 

Then there was the matter of a swimming 
pool at the new high school. David Tarantino 
remembered Cozy's stance on that issue. "They 
were going to put a pool in the new school, now 
Plymouth North, I think. Well anyway. Cozy 
made a speech saying that there are 365 ponds in 
Plymouth and a whole 'goddamn' ocean and we 
want to put a pool in the school - 'go swimmin' 
in the ocean, he said. He got a referendum and it 
took the pool out of the school." 

Bud Krueger, who chaired the finance 
committee and later served as a selectman with 
Barrett, said: "Cozy did things in the name of the 
taxpayer to try to save them money; some things 
backfired, some things didn't. He was sensitive 
to tax issues and the little guy. People could talk 
to him; people believed him. I don't know if he, 
by himself, stopped the pool at Plymouth North. 
Many people didn't like the idea of a pool. It 

Bud Krueger 

was thought to be a total 
extravagance. Plymouth 
has an awful lot of places 
to go swimming, so a great 
many people didn't want 
the pool. Cozy was their 
voice, that's all." 

Cozy's way of helping 
people was both simple 
and complex. Even as a 
youngster growing up in Plymouth, Ken Tavares 
knew about Cozy: "I had been aware of him 
since my earliest days as a little boy. He was 
married to my dad's cousin and had one child. I 
remember him coming up to the cottage on Fresh 
Pond and driving his great big car. In those days 
not too many people had great big vehicles, but 
Cozy did. He was always an imposing figure; 
you knew he was important and that he was this 
man about town. My brother and I were afraid of 
him, but that wasn't what Cozy was all about. He 
loved children and had a good heart. One time I 
remember we were peering out the window when 
we saw him there, so we decided to go outside 
and kind of walk by him. He looked at us and 
said, in that deep voice, 'Do you boys want to go 
for an ice cream?' So we got into the back seat of 
his big car with my cousin and he took us over to 
the Brown Bear and bought us an ice cream." 

Years later, Selectman Ken Tavares 
experienced Cozy's good heartedness in another 
way: "I had been elected to the board in April and 
at first. Cozy wouldn't talk to me. He considered 
me to be a member of the opposition. He thought 
that I had helped Roger Silva try to get elected 
when Roger ran against him, and that I was part 



Cozy Barrett's voice was often heard over radio station WPLM on Sunday afternoons, especially 
before a town election. Linda Rapoza McAlduff remembered hearing her grand-uncle Cozy's voice. 
"My mother would have the radio on in the kitchen and we'd all listen," McAlduff said. "I was in 
junior high at the time and because of hearing him on the radio I began to have an understanding of 
how important he was in town. He was a great speaker, an orator," McAlduff said. 

Following ore excerpts from a 1975 broadcast of 
Cozy speaking one week before the annual town 

"For nearly 40 years in local government I have 
always tried to give the taxpaying public the kind 
of government they desire most. Oh, I know it is 
impossible to please everyone; God couldn't do 
that, but I try . That's why today I would like to talk 
to you about candidates for the office of the board 
of selectmen who you will choose next Saturday. 

"I want it clearly understood here I have talked 
to no candidate for this office, and no candidate 
knows who is my choice for this office and why. I 
have made no deals with anyone; more or less I am 
a loner. 

"A lot of f)eople. not only in local elections, 
but others, try to make these things a popularity 
contest, and in so doing overlook the best 
deserv ing candidates, and we end up with poor 
government. Up to two years ago, your selectmen 
were nothing more than office boys in town 

"Outside of giving out a few licenses, the only 
department this board controlled was the highway 
department. Today, thanks to you voting for a 
new town charter, your selectmen are the most 
important board in town government. The board 

today controls more than 60 percent of the millions 
of dollars appropriated at our town meeting. This 
in itself is why you (should be) choosing with 
caution the two selectmen who are best qualified to 
serve you." 

Cozy was referring to a charter change adopted 
by local voters the previous year that greatly 
increased the power of the board of 
selectmen. Cozy, a selectman, was also a 
member of the elected commission that drafted 
the new charter. Doris Krensky, who chaired the 
commission, said of Cozy, "His whole purpose 
in politics was to help those who couldn 't help 
themselves." In his 1975 pre-election broadcast. 
Cozy continued: 

"In the immediate years ahead we are faced 
with great problems that could bankrupt your 
local government. We have the highest 
unemployment record in the state, some 25 
percent. More schools will be built, more fire 
and police stations, hundreds will be added to our 
payrolls, costing you, the taxpayer, millions of 
dollars. With 100 percent property valuations in 
the making, we will be fortunate ending up with a 
$100 tax burden, and when this happens you are 
out of a home. 

"This is why, one of the many reasons that 
careful screening of candidates for the office of 

selectman is, or should be, important to you. What 
ye sow, so shall ye reap. Take the best and you 
get good government. Ignore the best and you 
get the worst. Beware of the local politician who 
promises the world with a fence around it. This 
year we are blessed with candidates galore for 
this high office, no doubt all of them with the best 
intentions. But this is not enough. My choice for 
this office is based entirely on past experience in 
town government." 

Cozy then discusses the various candidates and 
concludes with an endorsement of Clarence "Bud" 

"Then we come to my final (choice) - 
Clarence Krueger. Here we have an outstanding 
administrator, perhaps one who knows more about 
town government than any other person. Chairman 
of your finance committee for the past three years 
and the best administrator I have seen in a long, 
long while. The town could ill afford to lose 
this individual's service to this community. Mr. 
Krueger is so outstanding, this guy is so terrific, 
don't overlook him." 

Krueger won a seat on the board of selectmen 
and later went on to become town moderator. 
"Being somebody from the Midwest, coming 
here and seeing this, and Massachusetts with its 
political history, you get a chance to watch a Cozy 
Barrett in action, " Krueger said. "To me, it was 
like a history lesson all by itself- a James Michael 
Cur ley sort of thing. I think Cozy was indeed good 
for the town of Plymouth. He just found great ways 
of helping people, " Krueger added. 


of this new wave that was trying to push him out. 
He absolutely ignored me at public meetings, 
wouldn't look at me, wouldn't talk to me. I did 
not exist. The flip side is that whenever we were 
alone in the building, he shared with me a wealth 
of information and background about the town. 
I remember one time sitting with him in the 

selectmen's office for over 
an hour and a half, just the 
two of us going back and 
forth and he was saying, 
^ Lm well you ought to know 

this story, or that one. 
It was the other side of 

As Tavares pointed 
out, there was yet 
another dimension to Cozy. "He could play all 
sides and he did do that, and he did it very, very 
successfully. I remember when I was working on 
Roger's campaign. I was newly married and just 
back in town, having been gone for eight years. 
My wife called and told me I had received a very 
threatening postcard in the mail. It said something 
like: You better be careful of what you're doing 

Ken Tavares 

because you're going to lose your job because 
of your activities with the town. I told |my wife] 
Maggi it had to be Cozy, and sure enough when I 
got home, I saw that it was. He was noted for this. 
You could see him if you went by the town house, 
in the assessors office, where he used to poke 
out these little postcards on the typewriter. They 
weren't typed neatly, so I knew who it was." 

There's no doubt that Cozy Barrett left his 
mark on Plymouth and on many of the people 
who worked along side of him or followed in his 

David Tarantino recalled: "Cozy knew 
everybody, but I don't think he had a lot of very, 
very close friends. He spent a lot of time in his car. 
I don't know whether, towards the end, it was 
because he couldn't sleep, or was sick, or what." 

Ken Tavares remembered the day Cozy was 
laid to rest: "Cozy died on Veterans Day and board 
members were asked to be the pallbearers for 
his Mass at St. Peter's. Cozy was a very big man 
and I remember he was a heavy man to carry up 
those stairs in a coffin. We trudged up the stairs, 
got Cozy into church and out of church, and then 
took him to the cemetery. It was a cold day and I 

had worn a newly-purchased pair of shoes. You 
had to dress up for Cozy's funeral, you know, and 
walking through the wet grass at the cemetery 
my shoes got stained. And I thought to myself. 
Cozy, you got the last word. Every Veterans Day 
I still think of him. He's part of a generation that 
is now lost forever. It was amusing that for years 
after he died, people tried to be the second Cozy 
- but there was and there will only be one Cozy 

- but there was and there will 
only be one Cozy Barrett. 

Alba Thompson shared this fond recollection: 
"I look back with some affection on that old 
gentleman, because I, too, am first generation, 
born of immigrant parents, and I know what 
our hopes and desires were. In a way Cozy was 
the embodiment of change of one kind, and of 
inflexibility in meeting change in the town of 

Cozy Died on Veterans Day 7975 

Only a few months after endorsing Krueger for selectman. Cozy, a 
veteran of two world wars, died on Veterans Day 1975. A special 
town meeting scheduled for the night of his wake was postponed. At 
that time. Town Moderator Earl Rose said Barrett would be remembered 
for his "absolute total involvement of energy in everything he did." The 
moderator recalled the excitement of being involved with Barrett on 

various issues "whether in disagreement or alliance." 

Barrett was one of seven children born to Michael Barrett, originally of 
White River Junction, Vt., and Mary (Horan) Barrett, a native of County 
Cork, Ireland. His funeral was held at St. Peter's Church with his fellow 
selectmen serving as pallbearers. He was buried in the family plot in St. 
Joseph's Cemetery in Plymouth. 


Classical music for Plymouth 

The Plymouth Philharmonic Orchestra sits for a photo at Memorial Hall with its founder and conductor 

G. Herbert Clarke, c. 1930. At that time the orchestra was composed of about 40 talented recreational players. 

Robert Knox 

In 1913. before most people had phonographs 
or radios in their homes, the Plymouth Philhar- 
monic Orchestra was founded to provide free 
classical music for the people of the town. By 
the end of the century, the PPO or "Phil" as it 
was popularly known, was a valued community 
resource that charged admission to high-quality 
classical music concerts, along with annual pops 
and family concerts. 

The orchestra changed as the times did, and 
as the town of Plymouth did. It almost withered 
away in a crisis of relevance and identity in the 
post- World War II era. It broke with its earlier 
reliance on amateur players, metamorphosing into 

The orchestra changed as the 
times did, and as the town of 
Plymouth did. 

a professional organization perhaps as difficult 
to recognize to the denizens of 1913, the year the 
orchestra was founded, as Plymouth itself, with its 
five village centers and scores of new neighbor- 
hoods, would be to the town's founders. 

G. Herbert Clarke, the orchestra's founder, was 
a violin teacher who wanted to give his students 



a chance to play for the public. Clarke's fledg- 
ling orchestra, though few in number, ranged 
widely in age from high school students to senior 
citizens. In its early years the ensemble offered 
"light classical" programs, a more common ap- 
proach to orchestral programming than the later, 
strictly classical menu, which gave audiences a 
complete work, whether Mozart or Mahler, from 
top to bottom. 

"It was classical music for the masses," said 
Roberta Otto, who became the orchestra's execu- 
tive director in 1981 . 

In the early decades of the 20th century, 
symphony orchestras commonly served up shorter 

pieces in a smorgasbord of genres. A movement 
of a classical piece would be followed by an aria 
from light opera, or a show tune, or a popular 
melody. Harold Boyer, who played for the orches- 
tra for 53 years, remembers playing both Victor 
Herbert favorites and the "William Tell Overture" 
in a typical program. 

The orchestra's venue history provides a kind 
of Cook's tour of 20th century Plymouth land- 
marks. The PPO played or rehearsed, or both, in 
the Davis Building, across the street from the post 
office, the Old Colony National Bank (later home 
of the Plymouth Savings Bank), the Black & 
White Club (then on Main Street), the Old 


The orchestra^s venue 
history provides a kind of 
Cook^s tour of 20th century 
Plymouth landmarks. 

Colony Theatre on Main Street Extension, the 
town's high school on Lincoln Street (later the 
Nathaniel Morton School), Plymouth-Carver Re- 
gional High School (later Plymouth North High 
School), and Harris Hall at the Plymouth Cordage 
Co. It even played at times in what Boyer called 
"the Memorial Building," but not until 1980, 
when the orchestra passed some tipping point in 
its makeover from community orchestra to profes- 
sional orchestra, did the PPO make Memorial 
Hall its permanent address. 

By the end of the 20th century, the orches- 
tra played an annual schedule of three classical 
concerts, two performances of holiday pops and 
a family concert. It enjoyed a reputation, as Otto 
put it, as "an outstanding cultural resource." But 
there had been ups and downs along the way. 

Born in 1873, "Bert" Clarke took various 
approaches to make a living out of music. At the 
start of the 20th century the violin was not 
simply the longhair instrument par excellence, 
and Clarke's career crisscrossed musical genres. 
According to notes on family history left by his 
son, Kenneth Clarke - who also played in the 
PPO - his father attended Kingston schools and 
New England Conservatory and then went into 
business as a piano and organ tuner. 

G. Herbert Clarke III, who lived in Plymouth at 

the end of the 20th century, was born two years 
after his grandfather and namesake died, in 1932. 
"1 never got to meet him, but we have some fam- 
ily memorabilia," Clarke said. 

He and his wife, Charlotte, not only preserved 
the family archive on the orchestra's founder, 
they added to it. They 
obtained sheets of 
letterhead stationery 
with the legend "Di- 
rector and Manager of 
Clarke's Orchestra" 
and a business card 
that offered "music 
furnished for all 
occasions." The 
family treasure trove 
includes an early 
concert program list- 
ing more than a score 
of pieces. A program 
from 1914 features an 
excerpt from 
Gounod's "Faust," a 
lasting favorite with 
1 9th and early 20th 
century audiences. 
And when the PPO 
celebrated its roots in 

1991 by playing a program originally conducted 
by G. Herbert Clarke, the family donated the 
sheet music. 

A few years later Charlotte found a poster in a 
store in Kingston for a performance by "Clarke's 
Orchestra" in March of 1907. The poster pictures 
a scene from an opera (or operetta) and names 

the company that will perform it. Apparently, the 
evening provided an operetta first, Charlotte said, 
followed by dancing to the popular sounds of 
Clarke's Orchestra. 

Clarke "was quite a musician," said Boyer, 
who also played with another ensemble led by 
Clarke, the Pilgrim Band. In his South 
Street apartment, Boyer kept a photo of 
band members, dressed in identical white 
uniforms, taken at Harris Hall in 1927. 
Civic and musical connections were 

Dr. Josef Cohert. PPO 
conductor, 1959-61 , at the 
podium durini; a performance 
at the Plymouth-Carver 
Regional High School, later 
Plymouth North High School. 

Harold Boyer, who began playing with the PPO in 
1924, on the tympani during a post-World War II 


wrapped particularly tightly in those days. Pic- 
tured in the photo are band members John Arm- 
strong, the town's chief of police, and Jim Spoon- 
er. the amateur musician (on mellophone) and 
Plymouth Cordage Co. heir who left a bequest to 
the town that funded annual Spooner Concerts, 
including some by the Plymouth Philharmonic. 

While Boyer wasn't around for the first season 
of the Plymouth Philharmonic Orchestra, he went 
back pretty far. Rejoined the orchestra in 1924 
- at the ripe old age of 1 6 - and played in the 
percussion section all the way through 1976. 

"I started with the PPO in 1924," said Boyer. 
"I was new in town, from Philadelphia, and 
played in the Boy Scouts drum corps. At age 14 
I brought my drum and joined the Boy Scouts in 
the Tercentenary." (The Plymouth Tercentenary 
celebrated the 300th anniversary of the Pilgrims' 
landing.) (See: Vol. I, "Pilgrim Tercentenary 
1921 , pp. 93-96) A few years later, Boyer took 
his drumming skills to the town's philharmonic 
orchestra. Like other local musicians, he also en- 
joyed being paid to play music for the silent films 
shown at the Old Colony Theater. "In 1929 we 
all 20t fired because of the talkies - Al Jolson, the 

Jazz Singer," Boyer recalled. "They fired all the 
orchestras around the whole country because of 
the talkies." 

Boyer also had 1930 and 1953 photos of the 
Plymouth Philharmonic Orchestra, both taken 
in Memorial Hall. His 1930 photo shows Bert 
Clarke at the podium and Boyer himself (then 22) 
on snare drum and tympani. Almost all of that 
orchestra's 40 or so musicians were Plymouth or 
Kingston residents. Some of the players he identi- 
fied include Charles Wood, Dr. Albert Holmes 
of Kingston on bass fiddle, Alfred Bartlett on 
percussion, Kenneth Clarke (the conductor's son) 
on percussion, Ellen Woolford, Joe Querze, Eddie 
Parker on clarinet, Emerson Lowry, Vincent and 
Ray Zoccolante on trumpet, Richard Brown on 
trumpet, vocalist Pauline Soule, Beulah Howland 
Harris and Mary Washburn Holmes on cello, 
Edgar Beauregard, Bruce Arthur, violin players 
Sylvio Saraca, Morris Lewis and Deane Eldridge 
(the woodworking teacher at Plymouth High), 
trombone player Fred Richardson of Brockton, 
Alfred Volta on violin and vocalist Bruno 
Zangheri. The concertmaster was Beltrando Brini 
of Plymouth. 

Under the baton of Beltrando Brini, the PPO performs on the stage at Plymouth High School, later the Nathaniel 
Morton School, c. 1950s. 

Beltrando Brini on the podium during a PPO rehearsal 
in the 1950s. 

The baton passed to Edgar Beauregard in 1932, 
after Clarke's death. The orchestra missed a few 
seasons during World War IL but continued to 
provide symphonic music for the community. 

Brini, born in 1907, took over as conductor in 
1950. A violin teacher like Clarke, Brini also led 
a six-piece dance band in which his friend Boyer 
played. One day in the mid- 1920s, Boyer recalled 
in the summer of 2004, Brini said to him. "T have 
to go to court next week.' I said. 'What the hell 
did you do now?"" In fact, Brini had to testify in 
connection with the Sacco-Vanzetti case. (Brini 
always maintained his belief in Plymouth resident 
Bartolomeo Vanzetti's innocence.) (See: Vol. I, 


Pacheco was ^^one of the great 
unsung heroes^ who loved the 
town^ devoted himself to the 
philharmonic and musicians/^ 

"Trial of the Century: Local Amnesia, pp. 71-76) 

A photo of the Plymouth Philharmonic 
Orchestra taken in 1953 with Brini at the podium 
is filled with local names and faces. The musicians 
Boyer identified include Joe Contente. Elmer 
Webster, Billy Pioppi, Irene Loring, Corinne Peck 
on organ, Muriel Brini (Beltrando's wife), Doris 
Pedrini, Amanda Besse, Ellen Downey, Norman 
Holmes, Russell Cane vazzi, Tony Pioppi, Albert 
Reggiani, and Boyer on drums. 

Brini led the orchestra until 1958. According 
to the Philharmonic's records, Josef Cobert took 
over from 1959 to 1961 , Hanover composer Je- 
rome Cohen directed from 1962 to 1966, and John 
Pacheco, Plymouth's "music man," from 1967 to 

Pacheco was "one of the great unsung heroes, 
who loved the town, (and) devoted himself to the 
Philharmonic and musicians," said Rudolf Schle- 
gel, who would take over at the podium himself 
later in the 1970s. Hanover resident Cohen was a 
highly respected composer and arranger. 

While the PPO continued to perform after 
World War II as a community orchestra of unpaid, 
mostly amateur musicians, the community's inter- 
est in it declined. Its biggest supporters feared that 
the old community orchestra model could not get 
it "to the next level," as Otto put it. By the early 

1970s its continuation appeared in doubt, former 
PPO board member Robert Hillman recalled. 

Hillman, who played cello and was interested 
in "whatever Plymouth did culturally," painted a 
gloomy picture of the concerts of that time. "The 
orchestra consisted of about 15 players who had 
concerts Sunday afternoons at Plymouth High 
School," Hillman said. "They put a fishbowl out 
for people to donate . . . There were about the 
same number of people in the audience as there 
were up on the stage. After one of these concerts, 
we figured if the Plymouth orchestra was going to 
survive, we had to do something about it." 

A group of board members and people active 
in the community decided to make an attempt 
to revitalize the orchestra, Hillman said. Board 
members committed themselves to a more active 
and professional approach to fundraising. "We 
decided we had to do something to save the Plym- 
outh orchestra," Hillman said. "It was about to go 
down. We formed a (new) board to fundraise." 

Hillman cited the contributions of former board 
members Hap Person, president at one time, and 
Pauline Armando. Avoiding competition from the 
increasing popularity of professional football on 
TV, the orchestra moved its performances from 
Sunday afternoon to Saturday night. 

The Plymouth Philharmonic Orchestra incor- 
porated formally as a non-profit organization in 
1973. Members of the newly incorporated organi- 
zation decided to expand the size of the orchestra, 
raise its musical standard and raise money to pay 
musicians and rent music. Looking for a music di- 
rector to push the orchestra in a more professional 
direction, the PPO chose Victor Yampolsky, the 
principal second violinist at the Boston Symphony 

Rudi Schlegel, who as conductor from 1976-1992 took 
the PPO fr om a commiinit\' orchestra to a professional 

Orchestra, in 1973. His professional contacts 
brought other musicians. 

"Victor did what they hired him to - put the 
pedal to the metal," Schlegel said. The orchestra 
made big artistic gains and sounded better, but 
the change from community orchestra to semi- 
professional status meant some toes got stepped 
on. "Feelings were bruised, people were disen- 
franchised, and some longstanding good will was 
put at risk," Schlegel said. 

The board decided not to renew Yampolsky's 
three-year contract. Looking for someone with the 
credentials and drive, but also with community re- 
lations skills, the PPO began the search for a new 
director that led to Schlegel, then a recent music 
school graduate. 


"Rudi Schlegel took us from a community 
orchestra to a professional orchestra." Otto said. 

In Schlegel's first year. 1976-77. the orchestra 
consisted of 48 to 50 players and played three 
concerts in Plymouth-Carver Regional High 
School. It was a "chamber orchestra." Schlegel 
said, a small orchestra consisting of a hybrid 
collection of music educators, local students, con- 
ser\ ator\' students and professional players. The 
balance shifted ever> year toward more profes- 
sional musicians until everyone was paid some- 
thing and the musical standards continued to rise. 

Plymouth was a growing town in the 1970s but 
many things about it were still small - such as 
budgets. The PPO's budget in 1976 was $1 1 ,000 
- with a S250 deficit. At the annual meeting that 
year at Bert's Restaurant. Schlegel recalls, a 
new h elected board member stood up and in a 
"breath-taking, theatrical gesture" pulled out his 
checkbook and announced he was going to donate 
S250 so the orchestra would not have to start the 
year in the red. People were excited, he said, "A 
shout went up." Schlegel's own salary that first 
year was S3. 000. Like so many musicians every- 
where, he had a day job - at the public library. 

The orchestra needed six to seven rehearsals 
for a concert then (twice as many as later), Schle- 
gel said, and being conductor was a hands-on, 
labor-intensive job. But there should always be a 
place in music for amateurs, he said: "There are 
two things in life that should not be left entirely to 
professionals - music and sex." 

The PPO administration went through a similar 
evolution. More pay for players and more ambi- 
tious concerts required more fundraising. Among 
board members who helped during that period 

Schlegel cited Mark Johnston, Paul Ceccarelli of 
Duxbury, Richard Sgarzi, and Frank Rogerson Jr. 

Help was also coming from an unexpected 
source. The recession of the late 1970s led to a 
federal job-creation program, which gave the PPO 
its first full-time administrator. In 1981 Roberta 
Otto, who played flute for the orchestra, took over 
that position. The establishment of the profes- 
sional managerial position was an essential step to 
the PPO's growth and success, Schlegel said. 

Another important move was committing to 
Memorial Hall as a permanent home. The PPO 

^Rudi Schlegel took us from a 
community orchestra to a 
professional orchestra/ 

took that step in 1980, initially drawing 300 to 
400 listeners for a concert. Otto recalled. 

Schlegel said performing at Memorial Hall 
rather than school auditoriums helped the Plym- 
outh Philharmonic gain its own identity. An 
attempt to use the Old Colony Theater - where 
Boyer's talents had once been replaced by talk- 
ies - failed because of the building's advanced 

Memorial Hall also posed facility problems. "I 
always liked the hall even though it was in dread- 
ful condition for every year I was here," Schlegel 
said. "Leaky ceilings, banging pipes, uncomfort- 
able seats - it was still a good hall. It had charac- 
ter, it was funky." 

Changes made to the building since its con- 
struction in 1 924 had harmed its acoustics and 

architectural style. Padding had been added to 
the ceiling to deaden the sound during basketball 
games. The building's original skylights had been 
covered up, Schlegel learned, because they were 
cracked by seagulls dropping clamshells on them. 

But the hall also had the flexibility for pops 
concerts, Schlegel said, when table seating was 
added to the floor. The appeal of pops concert 
programs was a necessity, he said, for the PPO 
to be successful. Otto recalled a pops concert in 
the early 1980s with actor Carroll Spinney, who 
played TV's Big Bird, as a breakthrough event in 
building audience support. "That was a big deal 
for us to pull off," she said. As the orchestra's 
manager, she had to balance the needs of the 
performer against the limitations of the hall, while 
marketing the show to the community. 

The PPO also relied on guest artists like the 
New Black Eagle Jazz Band and Paul Winter to 
help build audience in that period. During her 
tenure. Otto said, the budget went from $30,000 
a year to $500,000. As musical quality improved, 
attendance grew and local businesses stepped 
forward to underwrite concerts. 

But in 1986 internal fireworks broke out over 
the direction of the organization when the board's 
majority decided to replace the musical director. 
Schlegel. The issue was the money required to 
meet Schlegel's goals of increasing professional- 
ization and high artistic standards. A large turnout 
of musicians and other community members came 
to the PPO's annual meeting, voted out the cur- 
rent board and voted in a new board that retained 

"It was a huge flap," Schlegel said. He recalled 
a cartoon (published in the Old Colony Memorial) 


in which the conductor with a baton is 
fencing with a board member's umbrella. 
"It was a pivotal moment in the history of 
the PPO," he said. "The choice was either 
to continue to develop or to stop and go 

In 1992, Schlegel left the orchestra 
after 17 years for the Atlanta Symphony 
Orchestra, where he served as Vice President for 
Presentations. "I probably picked the best time 
to leave," Schlegel said. "There was money in 
the bank, a growing audience and a good local 
economy." His advice to the PPO was to beware 
the "false god of over-refinement on the artistic 
side. It's still a community asset." 

At the beginning of the 21st century, commu- 
nity participation in the PPO beyond the orchestra 
pit was stronger than ever. An advisory board of 
supporters and benefactors supported the board 
of directors. The program book for PPO concerts 
listed pages of contributors, from corporations 
to local stores to individual members. The PPO 
Volunteer League provided scores of local volun- 
teer ushers, ticket sellers and "Symphony Store" 
minders. Support ranged from donating large 
sums of money to buying a PPO coffee mug in 
the hall lobby on concert night. 

The orchestra served a wider community too. 
Otto said its audience included residents of 1 74 
towns, most of them from Weymouth to Mashpee. 
Her goal, she said, was to see the orchestra 
"perform as much as possible." 

After Schlegel 's departure, the PPO conducted 
a year-long search and auditioned candidates for 
music director before hiring Steven Karidoyanes 
of Boston in 1994. Karidoyanes said he regarded 

At the beginning of the 21st century^ 
community participation in the PPO beyond 
the orchestra pit was stronger than ever. 

leading the Plymouth orchestra as a great profes- 
sional opportunity. 

"We've been taking steady steps," Karidoyanes 
said. "I always felt this was a career job for me." 

With the planning already in place, the 
orchestra's first family concert took place during 
Karidoyanes' first year at the podium. During his 
tenure as conductor, the orchestra added a third 

Steven Karidoyanes, conductor of the PPO from 1994 
into the 21st century, at the podium for a concert at 
Memorial Hall. 

classical concert to its annual subscription 
series, performed special concerts in other 
towns and encouraged the development of 
smaller ensembles including the Sym- 
phony Swing Band, a cabaret orchestra for 
corporate functions, and the PPO String 
Quartet, which in 2004 offered a concert 
series of its own. Karidoyanes made an- 
nual visits to local libraries to preview the coming 
season. The orchestra collaborated with school 
music programs and regional musical organiza- 
tions to add voices, dancers or more instruments 
to specially designed classical and pops programs. 

Another big step came when the town of 
Plymouth undertook a massive $7 million res- 
toration of Memorial Hall, which reopened with 
improved acoustics and seating in 2002. 

The orchestra also issued its first CD, consist- 
ing of recordings of Beethoven's Symphony No. 7 
and Copland's "Billy the Kid" Suite, recorded in 
1999 and 2000. 

Serving the community by offering musical 
excellence was his priority, Karidoyanes said. "I 
don't want people to think 'that's the PPO play- 
ing Beethoven,'" he said. "I want them to think, 
'That's Beethoven.'" 

In 2004 Hillman said. "The orchestra is out- 
standing. Our conductors keep getting better all 
the time. Steven is a treasure. His approach, his 
knowledge, the variety of music that he brings..." 

The orchestra's image in the popular mind was 
still catching up with the reality, Hillman said. 
"People still consider this a community orchestra. 
It's not any more. We have a fully professional 


Local news with heart and soul 

Mark Johnston 

Plymouth experienced many 
changes during the 20th century, 
but one constant for that 100-year 
era w as the newspaper of record, 
the Old Colony Memorial. Like 
the community, the newspaper 
weathered world wars, depressions, 
recessions, unprecedented growth 
and technological change. In 1900, 
the Old Colony Memorial was 
printed a page at a time on a drum 
cylinder press. At the end of the 
century , the entire composition, 
pre-press and printing operation was 
fully computerized. Through the 
years, the cylinder press gave way 
to duplex letterpress printing and 
finally a web offset press. Linotype 
hot lead composition gave way 
to punch-tape photocomposition, 
optical character recognition technology and 
desktop publishing. Throughout the century, 
throughout those changes, the newspaper was a 
reflection of the men and women who managed 
that change. 

Both Paul William Bittinger and Edward 
Ballard Garside were Plymouth newspapermen 
- one by birthright, one to keep the wolves from 



The Old Colony Memorial hiiildiiig on Middle Street, in downtown Plymouth 
newspaper's home from 1904 to the late 1970s. 

the door. For Paul Bittinger, the Old Colony 
Memorial represented how far he had risen in the 
world. For Ted Garside, it more often represented 

Started In 1822, the 
Old Colony Memorial was 
Plymouth's first 
successful newspaper. 

how far he had fallen. 

Started in 1822, the Old Colony 
Memorial was Plymouth's first 
successful newspaper. There 
were a number of owners during 
the 19th century but in 1898. the 
printing plant was purchased by 
Frederick and Joseph Bittinger. A 
few years later, these two young 
men from New Hampshire bought 
the newspaper as well and, in 
1904, moved the Memorial Press 
operation into a building on Middle 
Street where it remained until the 
late 1970s. When Frederick died 
unexpectedly in 1922, Joseph 
wanted out of the business and sold 
his half interest to his brother's 
widow Lillian. Her children. Fritz 
and Paul, took over management of 
the newspaper in which Paul would remain active 
for more than 50 years. 

As editor and publisher for a half century, Paul 
had some help along the way from a number 
of people. In 1934, he hired Wesley Churchill 
as business manager. Without Churchill, the 
newspaper might never have survived the 
Depression or World War II. At times, the 
newspaper bartered advertising for groceries and 

, the 

dry goods which, in turn, served as compensation 
for employees. Churchill's creativity in the 
business office kept the newspaper alive. In truth, 
it wasn't always much of a newspaper but it 
published continuously through the first half of 
the 20th century. In the early 1950s, Paul hired 
Ted Garside to write some stories for the Cape 
Cod Guide, a tourist publication Paul had started 
to keep the production equipment busy. One thing 
led to another and Paul talked Ted, a bit down on 
his luck at the time, into becoming the managing 
editor of the Old Colony Memorial. Born to 
mill worker parents in mill worker housing on 
Billington Street, Ted's poverty-line, working- 
class background was in sharp contrast to Paul's 
rather more privileged upbringing. 

For those who knew both men well, they were 
defined by their differences. Ted was, by nature, a 
genuine eccentric. Paul was eccentric by choice. 
Ted's was a towering intellect. Paul was drawn to 
that intellect but, like all but a very few, no match 
for it. Paul was comfortable with and around 
money. Ted never was. Ted skipped three grades 
in school and went to Brown University on a 
full academic scholarship at age 16. The school 
work itself was no challenge but in the end Ted 
couldn't handle being tossed into the elite social 
strata populated by the most privileged of New 
England's young men. He dropped out and would 
later work his way through the University of 

Their differences extended well beyond the 
obvious rich and poor. Paul loved the notoriety 
and prestige of publishing the local newspaper. 
Although Ted had worked as a young man 
at Newsweek, the St. Louis Star-Times and 

OCM publisher and editor Paul Biltiiii^er. 

the old Boston Transcript, the best of the 
city's newspapers, he never wanted to be a 

While most newspaper people would 
cringe at the obvious conflict of interest, Paul 
was comfortable using his position to run for 
public office. He served on the Public Safety 
Commission and the Board of Selectmen. Being 
a pillar of the community was a role to which he 
always aspired - and there is certainly no question 
that his public service in many areas over the 
years made Plymouth a better place to live. Ted 

These two men^ so different^ 
contributed significantly to the 
survival and success of the 
Old Colony Memorial. 

was not comfortable being in the public eye. 
While Paul could hobnob with Plymouth's social 
elite at the Pilgrim Society, the Old Colony Club 
and the Plymouth Yacht Club, Ted's social life 
was largely confined to drinking shots and beer 
with his working class friends at Dan Callahan's 
bar on Main Street Extension. 

Ted was often shaggy and sometimes unshaven 
because he simply had other things on his mind. 
Paul's eccentricity was evidenced - at least later 
in his life - in a cultivated image, in styled, 
shoulder-length hair and a beard, and in owning 
oddball things that might draw attention to his 
eccentricity. He drove a bright red French-built 
Citroen and owned a custom-built, one-of-a-kind 
catamaran sailboat. He lived in a spectacular 
home on what might have been Plymouth's 
most beautiful piece of waterfront property. By 
contrast, Ted would drive 10-year-old junkers and 
lived in a ramshackle two-story house on South 
Street, within walking distance of Callahan's. 
After a shots-and-beer Saturday morning, that 
sometimes proved convenient. 

Sailing out of Plymouth Harbor on his 
catamaran. Paul could put aside the very real 
constant pressures of keeping his newspaper 
business afloat. When Ted punched out at five 
o'clock every weekday, he never thought of the 


newspaper. His off-hours recreation for years 
was more work, intellectually challenging work. 
For 25 years, he wrote book reviews for the New 
York Times. For most of his life he worked as 
a translator. Although he never once set foot in 
Germany, his command of the nuances of the 
language and his skill as a writer in English made 
him a sought-after translator of German literature. 
Over the course of his life, he translated 30 
books from German. The material ranged from 
astrology to architecture to philosophy to pure 
fiction. It included Hegel, Kierkegaard and Marx. 
It included "Billiards at Half Past Nine." a novel 
by Nobel Prize-winning author Heinrich Boll. It 
was hard work and it paid poorly but provided an 
intellectual challenge that newspapering no longer 

Confronted with how to fill his days after 
retirement in 1972, Ted studied Russian, Spanish 
and Italian. He also perfected his French, although 
it was in pretty good shape already because he 
had been the translator for a collection of letters 
by Toulouse-Lautrec. He also took up the study of 
calculus. At his 90th birthday party, a few years 
before he died, some of the discussion centered on 
his recent efforts to learn Old Greek. 

For the Old Colony Memorial, Ted wrote 
brilliant editorials despite his distaste for the job, 
but as a young man. he wanted to write the great 
American novel. He came closer than most. His 
first novel, "Cranberry Red," won the Atlantic 
Monthly novel of the year award in 1938. (See: 
Vol. I, "Downton post office," p. 46.) Two other 
novels were well-received critically but were not 
commercial successes. 

Paul was also a published author. Two books of 

OCM managing editor Ted Gar side. 

memoirs were published by the Memorial Press 
and call attention to another contrast between the 
two men. Paul was chiefly writing about and for 
his family and closest friends. He was a devoted 
family man and it was in that setting, more than 
any other, that the very best of his character 
was revealed. He was always there for his 
children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. 

Their differences extended 
well beyond the obvious 
rich and poor. 

Providing for them was always a priority. When 
his oldest daughter Marillus died tragically at 
an early age, he and his wife Pauline raised two 
granddaughters as their own. When Paul's failing 
heart could no longer pump the fluid out of his 
lungs, he courageously spent the evening at home 
- knowing it would be his last - surrounded by a 
genuinely loving family. 

While Ted was devoted to his second wife 
Natalie, and saw her through some extremely 
difficult health challenges, he was never nominated 
for father of the year. His estrangement from his 
only son from a first marriage lasted a lifetime. 

These two men, so different, contributed 
significantly to the survival and success of the Old 
Colony Memorial. They were there to guide the 
newspaper through not only wars and economic 
upheaval, but also through the most radical 
changes in communications technology since 

Whether any community newspaper can long 
endure the radical changes to communication 
in the more mature electronic age remains to 
be seen. But community journalism at its best 
desperately needs people like Paul Bittinger and 
Ted Garside. Paul thought newspapering a noble 
profession. His vision of what a community 
newspaper could be, his sheer drive, ensured the 
newspaper's endurance for a half century. Ted's 
intellect and skill as a writer and editor, his ability 
to mentor writers both young and old, gave it 

Paul Bittinger gave the Old Colony Memorial 
a heart. Ted Garside gave it a soul. An enduring 
community newspaper will always need both. 


Schools small and large 

At the beginning of the 20th century, there 
were 26 pubHc schools in Plymouth, most of them 
one- or two-room grammar schools. A majority 
of the 1 ,758 children enrolled walked to school. 
By the end of the century the town was operating 
13 schools serving an enrollment of nearly 9,000 
students, very few of whom walked to and from 

During the century Plymouth closed most 
of its small schools and built 14 others, all of 
them larger than those they replaced. Most of 
the schools that closed were small neighborhood 

The Mount Pleasant School on Whiting Street, built in 
1905, replaced the Wellingsley School at Jabez Corner. 
Originally it served pupils in grades 1-6, hut at the end 
of the 20th century it was used as a school for pupils 
with special needs. 


Plymouth High School on Lincoln Street. Built in 1892, 
it was abandoned as a school in 1936 when a new high 
school opened across the street. The old high school 
later became the town office building. 

schools. They were replaced with larger buildings 
to which pupils were bused. At the turn of the 
20th century the annual public school budget was 
$35,000 — less than 20 percent of the town's 
total operating budget. By the end of the century 
an annual school budget of about $60 million 
represented more than 60 percent of the town's 
annual budget. 

Not a single schoolhouse survived the century 
as a school, although a few came close. The 1892 
high school on Lincoln Street was converted 
into a town office building after closing as a 
school in 1936. The Oak Street School, a two- 
room building for grades 1-4, built in 1902, 
continued to be used as a kindergarten facility 
for Cold Spring School at the end of the century. 

The Mount Pleasant School on Whiting Street 
near Jabez Corner, built in 1905 for grades 1-6, 
remained in use at the end of the century as a 
school for special needs children. And the Hedge 
School in North Plymouth, built in 1910 with only 
two rooms and enlarged three times, remained in 
use in the year 2000 and beyond as an elementary 

Nathaniel Morton School on Lincoln Street. Originally 
built in 1913 as the town's first junior high school with 
its entrance off Sandwich Street, a Depression-era 
addition resulted in a combined junior-senior high 
school until 1963 when the Plymouth-Carver Regional 
High School opened on Obery Street. Nathaniel 
Morton then became an elementary school. 

school to which many pupils continued to walk. 

The Nathaniel Morton School was built in 
1913 as the town's first junior high for seventh 
and eighth graders. When a new high school was 
built next door in 1936, the two-school complex 


Two schools built during the 19th century were located across Russell Street from 
one another near Burial Hill. The Cornish School, above, faced the Burton School. 
Together they shared a playground and served pupils from downtown Plymouth in 
grades 1-6. Both schools were closed in 1963 when a regional high school opened 
and space became available at the Morton building. 

became a junior-senior high school combination. After a regional high 
school with Carver opened in 1963, the school reverted to its original name: 
Nathaniel Morton. 

A four-room Cold Spring School opened on Court Street in 1895. This 
building continued in use as a school until it was replaced by a building on 
Alden Street that opened in 1951 . The Court Street building was used for a 
few years by the local American Legion post and then became a Christian 
Science Church. 

A grammar school was built on Court Street in North Plymouth in 
1901 and named for Frederick Knapp, a long-time member of the school 
committee. The building was closed as a school in 1941 and became a 
curtain factory. 

Two schools built during the 19th century sat across Russell Street from 
one another near Burial Hill. The Cornish and Burton Schools shared a 
playground. They were closed in 1963 when the Plymouth-Carver Regional 

I'lic Cold Spring Schodl mi Alden Street, which opened in 1951 , replaced two 
schoolhouses, one on Alden Street and the other on Court Street. The Court Street 
building later became a Christian Science Church. (See: Vol. I, "First grade at the 
Alden Street School," pp. 97-98.) 

The Hedge School in North Plymouth, originally built in 1910 with only two 
classrooms, was enlarged three times during the 20th century and remained in use 
as a K-6 elementary school into the 21st century. 


A cartoon from the Old Colony Memorial in 1 959 depicting the town 's need for 
additional school facilities as the local population began to grow rapidly. 

South Elementary School on Bourne Road, one of four new schools built one after 
another to meet a sudden increase in school-age children. The four - West, Federal 
Furnace, South and Indian Brook, were based on similar architectural plans drafted 
locally by David Crawley Associates. 

High School opened and space became available in the Morton building. 
After the two schools were demolished, the site was used for the town's 
police headquarters. 

The first Manomet elementary school was located on Brook Road. It 
was closed in 1952 when a new Manomet Elementary School opened on 
Manomet Point Road. The old schoolhouse was moved and became a 
community recreation center. 

A one-room schoolhouse at the corner of Herring Pond and Long Pond 
roads in Cedarville was built in the late 19th century. It continued in use until 
1935 when the 15 pupils were transferred to other schools. The building was 
sold to a private owner in 1939 and re-purchased by the town in 1975. After 
restoration, it became well known as the Little Red Schoolhouse and was 
used throughout the rest of the century as a community meetinghouse and 
local polling place. 

In September 1963 a new Plymouth-Carver Regional High School opened 
on Obery Street for grades 9-12. The junior-senior high building on Lincoln 
Street became the Nathaniel Morton Intermediate School. Ten years later, in 
1972, a new intermediate school, serving both Plymouth and Carver, opened 



Although school construction in Plymouth flourished during the late 20th century, the 
single most active burst of new building activity in town may have occurred in 1905 when 
the Aug. 26 edition of the Old Colony Memorial reported five major construction projects 
underway: the Mount Pleasant School on Whiting Street, a central fire station on Main Street, 
a building for the Plymouth County Registry of Deeds on Russell Street, a new Memorial 
Press building on Middle Street and a library annex to Pilgrim Hall on Court Street. 

on Long Pond Road. 

As the population of Plymouth exploded during 
the last quarter of the century, the town built four 
new elementar) schools one after another - West, 
Federal Furnace. South and Indian Brook. All four 
were based on similar architectural plans drafted 
locally by David Crawley Associates. 

Plymouth-Carver Regional High School on Ohery Street, opened in 
1963, became Plymouth North High School in 19H4 when Carver built 
its own combined junior-senior high school. Another Plymouth high 
school, Plymouth South on Long Pond Road, opened in 1988. 

In 1984 Plymouth and Carver agreed to 
dissolve the regional school district. Carver built 
a combined junior-senior high school for its 
secondary school students and the regional high 
school on Obery Street became Plymouth North 
High School. A new Plymouth South High School 
opened in 1988 and Plymouth South Middle 
School opened in 1999. 

During the 20th century Plymouth 
schools pretty much reflected the 
experiences of public schools 
nationwide. Usually, new schools 
were built only after existing schools 
became overcrowded - so much so 
that oftentimes pupils attended on 
double sessions until new facilities 
had been completed. 

Early in the century the majority 
of pupils left school after finishing 
only the seventh, eighth or ninth 
grade. Only a minority completed 
high school and very few of those 
went on to college. By the end of the 
century, however, most public school 


students not only graduated from high school 
but a majority of them went on to some form of 
higher education. 

During the century such changes as school 
lunches, evening classes, industrial training 
courses, modem foreign language instruction, 
summer school and mandatory kindergarten 
programs were introduced. 

Teachers, once underpaid and overworked, 
joined forces to bargain collectively for better pay 
and improved working conditions. 

Plymouth South Middle School, adjacent to Plymouth 
South High School, opened in 1999. In 1972, the 

Plymouth-Carx er Intermediate School opened on Long 
Pond Road. When the regional school district was 
dissolved, the building becatne Plymouth Community 
Intermediate School. 

By the end of the century Plymouth had a 
first-class up-to-date public education system, its 
pupils adequately housed in schools both small 
and large. 

Contributors to the Plymouth schools story 
included Carl Jayko, Joe Horn, Winifred Avety 
(a Hedge School grandmother) and John Chaffee. 

Flying high over Plymouth 

PIxwoiith Municipal Airport as it appeared at the end of the 20th century. What had been an apple orchard and 
later a training base for the Navy during World War 11 had evolved into a 755-acre general aviation facility. 

Bernard Barufaldi 

In 1949, the six miles from my home 
downtown to Plymouth Airport by bicycle was 
a hot and dusty experience, and after the Federal 
Furnace— South Meadow Road split, a desolate 
one as well. 

At that time, there were only two or three houses 
along that stretch of South Meadow Road and the 
dismal surroundings didn't end upon arrival at the 
airport. By the end of the century, however. South 
Meadow Road seemed to have exploded with 
houses, small businesses and a church. 

After I turned 12 in 1949, 1 was allowed to 
bicycle to the airport on my own. Apparently 
age 12 marked some sort of mystical passage 
permitting a solo ride through the scrub of West 
Plymouth. It seemed appropriate, since I could 
already steer an airplane. Following the end of 
World War II, my father, Elio Barufaldi, and 
Doug Armstrong had purchased a single-engine 
1946 Aeronca Champion for $2,150 and had 
sought permission from the Plymouth selectmen 
to operate what was then known as Craig Airfield 
— if and when the U.S. Navy turned control of the 
field over to the town. Their plans for the facility 
included flying and ground instruction, the sale 
and repair of aircraft, hangar storage, and even 
some talk of future connecting flights to Boston 
and Cape Cod and the islands. Plymouth Airport 
was bom in 1934 out of a cleared apple orchard 

owned by the Craig family. Tough economic 
times ended a brief air service to Boston, but 
by 1938 air-mail service had been established. 
A few aircraft made Plymouth home, but those 
Depression years kept services and operations 

limited. There wasn't even a runway. In those 
early days of aviation, airports like Plymouth 
were round mowed fields allowing the biplanes 
of the day to take off straight into the wind in any 
direction; a windsock was needed and little else. 


By early April 1942, after the Japanese 
attack on Pearl Harbor had brought the 
United States into World War II. the U.S. 
Navy took o\ er the land and constructed 
a hangar and barracks on the east side of 
the field. It was primarily an emergency 
landing field with a crash truck, jeep 
and a few Navy personnel permanently 
assigned. As the war wore on, satellite 
facilities like Plymouth and neighboring 
Marshfield and Norwood also became 
training fields for many pilots flying 
out of the Squantum Naval Air Base 
in Quincy. Although there were no 
permanent aircraft based in Plymouth, the 
Navy's primar>' trainers - bright yellow 
biplanes - were very much in evidence 
during daylight hours. There was no night flying 
because there were no lights. The Navy did 
expand the landing strips to three in a triangular 
pattern that was typical of the time, but they were 
still composed of grass and sand. 

The Navy departed the field in March 1946, 
by which time the federal government had 
declared it surplus. Since the Plymouth County 
commissioners and the town of Carver had 
waived any rights to the field, a portion of which 
extended across the Plymouth-Carver town line, 
it was assumed that the Plymouth selectmen 
would purchase the airfield for $1 .00 and operate 
it so long as the cost of maintenance would not 
be excessive. At that juncture my dad and Doug 
waited for an answer to their petition. And they 
got one — six years later. 

In the leisurely Norman Rockwell world of a 
1949 balloon-tire single-speed bicycle, it took 

Elio Barufaldi, first manager of the Plymouth Municipal Airport, w. 
Aeronca "Champion " at the airport in 1946. 

about half an hour to get to the airport from 
home. I carried lunch in a brown paper bag and 
a thermos of water for the round trip. Airport 
tap water tasted as if it had been coolant for 
the Hindenburg airship, but there was a Coke 
machine-yes, you guessed \i-\Q<t each. 

While the rest of Plymouth 
went about its weekend 

activities^ we flew over and 
looked down on them. 

In the years before bicycling days there were 
weekends, usually Sunday, when my grandfather, 
Vinnie Pirani, would drive me, my mother Helen. 
Aunt Arlene and grandmother "Lizzie" to join 
Doug Armstrong's wife Fran for plane rides. 

In 1946 the Aeronca was tied down at Norwood. 


not Plymouth. Dad and Doug would drive 
to Norwood where one of them would fly 
the plane back to Plymouth while the other 
came back by car. Then we'd wait our turn 
^ to fly. It was thrilling; a real adventure. A 
p mere 41 years after the Wright brothers first 
3 flew I was doing it too. 
8 While the rest of Plymouth went about 

J its weekend activities, we flew over and 


=> looked down on them. We even coaxed 
m my grandfather, then 61 . into the air. He 
I got the usual 20-30 minute tour of town, 
g harbor. Long Beach, etc. and the special 
"there's your house right down there" 
package, which he said he enjoyed. He 
never asked to fly again. 

My grandmother sat in the car with 
her eyes closed on every takeoff and landing and 
prayed on the rosary beads clutched tightly in her 
hands. It never occurred to the rest of the family 
to be the least bit concerned because the war and 
growing up with flying made it all seem perfectly 
normal. But for folks of my grandparents age, it 
never occurred to them not to be concerned. 

In March 1947, the Plymouth town meeting 
appropriated $200 of the $ 1 ,800 requested to form 
an airport study committee. But it wasn't until 
five years later, in 1952, that the town purchased 
the surplus airport property from the Navy and 
despite a 3-2 recommendation for no action by 
the selectmen and no opinion from the planning 
board, on the motion of Selectman James T. 
Frazier, town meeting appropriated $7,620 to 
acquire and operate the airport. 

Meanwhile, a lot had happened at the field to 
change minds about aviation and its value to the 

town. Under the GI Bill, students attended classes 
to earn private or commercial licenses through 
courses sponsored by Wiggins Airways and the 
Plymouth Cordage Co. 

In 1948, Wiggins, headquartered in Norwood, 
leased the airport for operations and hired my 
dad, Elio Barufaldi, as manager and moved two 
Piper Cubs and an Aeronca trainer to Plymouth 

If you think airplanes were still 
a relative novelty at that time^ 
imagine n^hat an impact 
a helicopter made only 
four decades after the first 
manned flight. 

for flight training. Wiggins also moved its only 
helicopter to Plymouth for cranberry bog dusting 
and rescue work. 

If you think airplanes were still a relative 
novelty at that time, imagine what an impact a 
helicopter made only four decades after the first 
manned flight. Grandma said two rosaries when 
we went up in that thing - there were no wings 
or proper tail, it had no top or doors and it didn't 
look safe or airworthy. On banking you were held 
in only by a seatbelt and when the craft nosed 
down in flight, there was only a partial bubble 
between you and the ground. 

Plymouth got its first good look at one in the 
fall of 1949 when my father flew to Stephens 

Field during the Plymouth-Whitman high school 
football game and deposited me onto the field. 
The message was clear: If a 12-year-old could 
fly in one, it must be safe. To the amazement of 
onlookers, it went straight up and down, turned on 
a dime, hovered in place and went sideways. 

Also in 1949 Plymouth County commissioners 
and Plymouth Fire Chief Everett Wood convinced 
the state fire warden to purchase a fire control 
plane to be based in Plymouth. At a cost of 
$2,900, a Piper Cub was procured and named 
Elva B. after county commissioner Elva Bent. It 
patrolled from April to November, seven hours 
a day and became a very visible indicator of the 
value of a town airport. 

Within three years. Chief Wood estimated 
the sky patrols had saved the county at least $1 
million in damages by early 
sighting of smoke and directing 
ground response equipment to 
the proper location. The plane 
had a loudspeaker mounted on 
its underside to tell people who 
had lit unauthorized fires to put 
them out. In addition, the plane 
helped track escaped prisoners, 
capture kidnappers, rescue 
people from boating accidents, 
find people lost in the woods 
and locate drowning victims for 
retrieval and burial. 

After the town took over the 
facility, an airport commission 
was created and under its 
direction regular improvements 
were made. And at the end of 

the 20th century, to hear the sounds of numerous 
aircraft overhead was such a departure from 
hearing only a single engine 50 years earlier. 

If you looked at the airport at the end of the 
century what you saw was the vision of a few 
only 60 years earlier when everything was far 
less certain. A selectman once forecast that 
aviation was a "passing fancy" that would fade 
away except for a small group of war veterans, 
but it would never be a means of mass travel for 
the general public. Besides, he went on, a new 
highway from Boston to Cape Cod was being 
constructed, so why pour money into an airport 
that served only a few? 

Keepers of the local budget had to be reminded 
every year that Logan Airport in Boston lost 
money but brought business and revenue to the 

//; 1948. pilot Bill Briiihtwell is seated in the first helicopter to he based at 
Plymouth Airport. In the background are buildings that were built for the 
World War U Navy training fiicility. 


.\ '.i: .,; U,.r // ( .,s, Aniiv Air Corps B-I7 "Flying Fortress" fakes off from 
Plymoiitli Municipal Airport durinii an air show in the year 2000. The 
appearance of the vintage aircraft, phis a B-24 "Liberator" became an annual 
attraction at the end of the 20th century. 

city of Boston. It was a hard sell - there were 
only five planes based in Plymouth in 1950: the 
fire patrol plane, one belonging to the Plymouth 
Flying Club, and the private planes of Walter 
Bird. George Short and John Petrell, a key local 
voice for aviation. After the annual runway 
scraping and rolling in April, a few Wiggins 
machines arrived and the flying season could 
begin again. 

Even if the facilities weren't enlarged, services 
did expand — mosquito control in 1953 and gypsy 
moth eradication in 1955. Every new tie-down 
rental that came each spring was a small victory. 

Then, in May 1957, the Pine Hills caught fire 

and everything changed. 
The airport became a hub of 
activity as planes took off 
to spot and track a fire that 
for a week moved all over 
Plymouth. At one point, 
flames threatened the Jordan 
Hospital-Jabez Corner part 
of town. Anything that could 
fly was pressed into service 
and anyone who could fly 
volunteered. At one point 
a DC-3 landed in hopes of 
providing tanker drops, but 
~ it proved too heavy when 
2 loaded to take off from the 
5 airport's short runway. The 
fire was eventually contained 
and by October, the last 
voices of opposition stilled, 
a 300-foot runway extension 
had been built and landing 

lights added. 

In 1965 the first air show was held and by that 
time 52 planes called Plymouth home. In 1966 
a second paved runway was added. By then, 19 
people worked for the airport. 70 aircraft were 
tied down, five hangers had been constructed and 
the Plymouth Aero Club had 80 members. 

As time passed, the principals who had worked 
so hard to make post-World War II aviation 
a reality in Plymouth, my father included, 
were gone. But the airport remained, a lasting 
monument to what they created, still a six-mile 
bicycle ride from downtown. 

PS. My dog Pluto, who lived at the airport, is 
buried out there somewhere. Some dogs chased 

Plymouth Municipal Airport with its adjacent 
industrial park of 46 business buildings on town- 
owned land as it appeared in the year 2000. The 
runway pictured ran parallel to South Meadow Road 
looking east toward downtown Plymouth. 



On May 17, 1934, a single-engine biplane 
landed on a farmer's field off South Meadow 
Road in West Plymouth. It was the first time an 
airplane was known to have landed in town. 

By the end of the century, at the same site, the 
Plymouth Airport Commission reported 75,000 
aircraft movements annually. In the year 2000, 
the airport was home to 160 aircraft, used for 
business, recreation and public safety. 

After the Navy used the 275-acre field for 
training pilots in World War II, and then sold the 
surplus property to the town for $ 1 , 
what had once been West Plymouth 
farmland was gradually converted 
into a 755-acre general aviation 
municipal airport, used primarily by 
4-12 seat single- and twin-engine 
aircraft. The airport also became 
the home of the Boston MedFlight 
helicopters, the state police air wing 
and the Plymouth County fire plane. 

In addition, an all-volunteer 
30-member Civil Air Patrol 
unit, founded in the early 1960s, 
provided search and rescue services 
throughout New England. 

And the 75-member Plymouth 
Aero Club, founded in 1965 by 
Mel Thomas, sponsored biannual 
family fun days that supported 
annual $ 1 ,000 scholarships to 
local students pursuing a career in 

When the town took over the 
property^ Maher said^ there 
were two grass runways. 

According to airport manager Thomas J. 
Maher, after the town took over the property in 
1952, the selectmen initially served as the airport 
commission, a body required of a municipal 
airport under state law. After a few years. 

The first airplane known to have landed in Plymouth. On May 17. 1934, the single- 
engine biplane landed on a farmer's field in West Plymouth. The field later became the 
town 's municipal airport. 

however, the selectmen appointed a five-member 
commission serving staggered three-year terms. 
The commission was responsible for airport 
management and approving airport rules and 

In cooperation with the town manager, the 
commission also appointed the airport manager. 
In 2000, the airport staff numbered six full-time 
employees, including Maher. 

When the town took over the property, Maher 
said, there were two grass runways. One of them 
was paved in 1957, the other in 
1966. Over the years, the airport 
commission, under the long-time 
chairmanship of Walter Morrison, 
a World War II Army Air Corps 
veteran, made improvements and 
purchased additional land. Lights 
and navigation aids were added. 
Eventually, the airport became self- 
supporting, in no small part because 
it was home to a small industrial 
park with 46 business buildings on 
town-owned land. The businesses 
paid rent to the airport - $250,000 
annually - and property taxes to the 
town - $150,000 a year. Funded 
through an enterprise account, the 
airport's $2.5 million operating 
budget was paid for by tie-down 
and landing fees, building rentals 
and, primarily, the sale of aviation 




Highlight of the 1 992 Fourth of July parade 
was state Rep. Peter Forman with his 2-year-old 
daughter Sarah promoting his re-election bid by 
riding an elephant down Court Street. Forman, a 
Plymouth native, was first elected to the Legislature 
in 1 980 when he was 22 and just out of college. 
He went on to become Plymouth County sheriff 
and president of the South Shore Chamber of 

In the lower photo, Selectman David Malaguti, 
planning board member Malcolm MacGregor and 
school committee member Larry Gay hold signs 
outside a local polling place in 1990. The charter 
question failed and Lenox was elected. 

Lest we forget... 

Compiled by John Chaffee. 

Early in the 2 1st century many residents 
shared some of their recollections of life 
and events in 20th century Plymouth. 


For three days and nights in early May 
1957, Plymouth was in what the Old 
Colony Memorial called "the fiery grip 
of the worst woods fire in its history." 
The fire, which started about 3 p.m. on 
Wednesday, May 8, on Cranberry Road 
in the Myles Standish Reservation (state 
forest), forced the evacuation of 1 50 
homeowners as it burned uncontrolled 
for some 12 miles to Route 3 (later 3A) 
at the top of the Pine Hills. Gov. Foster 
Furcolo, who flew over the fire in a 
National Guard plane that landed at 
Plymouth Airport, declared a state of emergency. 

Firefighters came from 30 towns, stretching 
from Framingham to Provincetown, to assist in 
battling the blaze .... By the time the fire was finally 
out, it had consumed 18,000 acres of woodland 
and destroyed eight cottages on College Pond. 
Fire Chief Everett B. Wood, who slept only four 
hours over the course of the three-day blaze, was 
commended for his management of the crisis, 
his grasp of the terrain and his decisiveness in 

Main Street in downtown Plymouth, from the corner of Leyden 
Street looking north toward Shirley Square, 1949. 

deploying his forces. Although more than 2,500 
firefighters worked on the fire day and night, only 
a dozen suffered minor injuries. 

In 1992, as a new homeowner in the neighbor- 
hood that abuts the state forest, a Plymouth fire- 
fighter paid us a visit and encouraged us to clear 
the underbrush from the outskirts of our property. 
He told us about the 1 957 fire and the devastation 
it caused and warned us it could happen again. 

- Sharon LaRosa 


I was raised by my grandparents who 
were originally from the Cape Verde 
islands off the coast of Africa. Their 
dream was to buy a home in Plymouth 
and they did. It was located on Samoset 
Street where a Stop & Shop supermarket 
was later located. It was a large white 
house that sat high on a hill overlooking 
# Plymouth. 

.^^•Sg My grandparents raised many animals - 
^ chickens, geese, rabbits, goats and lambs, 
^ which often ended up on our supper table. 

remember one time our goat wandered 
S off the hill and down Samoset Street. I was 
horrified to later read on the front page of 
the Old Colony Memorial that "Mr. Alves' 
goat takes off again." At the time I didn't 
find it either newsworthy or humorous. 
How would I explain to my teen-age 
friends that I had goats where I lived? 

My grandparents' house didn't have indoor 
plumbing so we had an outhouse. The kitchen 
had a hand pump from which we got our running 
water. 1 remember feeling so inferior and so 
different and I would have been mortified if any 
of my friends had found out. But not having all the 
modern conveniences taught me a great lesson. 
I'm a person of color - whether you describe me 


as Black, Cape Verdean, or African-American - 
the color of my skin was never a preoccupation 
of mine. I never felt different because of my skin 
color, but only because we didn't have indoor 

- Betty Weeden 


On April 17, 1954, at 4 p.m., there was a gas 
explosion in front of the Emond Building on Main 
Street Extension in downtown Plymouth, an event 
that anyone who was there remembers with great 
clarity. Nineteen tenants of the building, including 
three families and five store occupants, were 
forced from their homes and offices. Eight persons 
were injured, one seriously .... 

The explosion took place in an empty space 
beneath the sidewalk, a space that had filled 
with leaking gas. The explosion lifted huge slabs 
of concrete into the air and threw them against 
the Emond Building. The force of the explosion 
inside the vault knocked down the interior brick 
wall that separated the vault from the building's 
empty movie theater and left what the Old Colony 
Memorial described as a "gaping, ragged hole, 
with bricks and mortar strewn from one side of the 
building to the other. Theater seats in line with the 
blast were mown down like grass under a scythe." 

The person most seriously injured by the blast 
was 13-year-old Harry Koblantz, who was leaving 
his father's dry cleaning store at street level of the 
building. The explosion lifted him into the air and 
dropped him into the empty vault 10 feet below 
street level. Although he never lost consciousness. 

he suffered a compound fracture 
of his left ankle, which had to be 
amputated after treatment at both 
Jordan Hospital and Massachusetts 
General Hospital in Boston. 

At the time of the explosion, 650 
people - 550 of them children - 
were watching a film at the nearby 
Old Colony Theater. Children 
interviewed later said they felt 
the theater sway at the time of 
the explosion and heard a loud 
bang. After the blast the movie was 
stopped and the theater emptied 
with patrons directed to exit in a 
westerly direction toward Summer 
Street or south toward Water Street. 
Thankfully the explosion did not 
occur at the end of the movie, as 
many of the children would have 
been walking on the sidewalk in 
front of the Emond Building. 

- Virginia Emond Davis 


The 1 960s are now remembered 
for radical social movements 
and fashions, but away from urban centers such 
initiatives generally arrived fitfully and tardily. 
Plymouth was no exception. Outside of a few 
early adopters such as the group I was part of, 
contemporary protests and hippie styles were not 
common until the very end of the decade .... 

At first, such things as bohemian or "mod" 

During the Vietnam War, 
the Rev. Norris Woodbury, 
a retired Baptist minister 
well along in his 70s, 
walked the streets of 
downtown Plymouth to 
protest the continuation 
of the war. 

clothing styles and the "ban the 
bomb" Student Peace Union (there 
was a tiny Plymouth High School 
chapter) were simply ignored as being 
too weird and insignificant to warrant 
comment. Later, public awareness of 
the emergent national counter-culture 
inspired a more spirited reaction .... 

The Vietnam wartime draft was 
another crucial factor in the decade. 
While most Plymouth boys resignedly 
S accepted this, my friend Paul did not 

and decided to leave for sanctuary in 

^ Canada. I volunteered to drive him ... 


^ we arrived in Canada two days after 

1 leaving Plymouth. After consulting 
z with a local draft advisory group, 
S we were directed to a temporary 

residence for evaders. The small, 
cold, dark apartment was located 
over a bar, so we were kept awake 
much of the night by throbbing 
music and flashing neon lights. I said 
goodbye to Paul the next morning 
and returned to Massachusetts - only 
to find Paul there shortly afterward! 
The experience had convinced him 
that he really didn't want to live in cold Canada 
and he had taken a plane home. 

By the end of the decade, hippie idealism had 
soured and far-leftist politics were imploding, but 
Plymouth was still catching up. It never failed to 
bemuse me to be greeted by the same young people 
who had given us such a hard time a few years 


earlier, sporting the long hair and counter-culture 
attitudes they had once so avidly denounced! 

- lames Baker 


Early Sunday morning on Dec. 6, 1953, a 
strange, lumbering shadow fell across the waters 
off Manomet Bluffs... The Coast Guard investigated 
and determined that the purported ship in distress 
was actually a very large and very dead whale .... 
By Tuesday morning the 15-year-old finback had 
washed up on the rocks below Manomet Point. 
At the time, few people inhabited that secluded 
stretch of shoreline, but a local family happened 
to stumble on the corpse during their daily stroll 
along the beach .... It measured 63 feet in length, 
but its tail was missing, probably chopped off by 

the propeller of a ship, which is why it washed 
ashore. With the tail, it would've been about 80 
feet long .... 

When news of the beached whale reached the 
town, a media circus ensued. People came from 
all over the state to see it. Newspaper reporters, 
photographers and sightseers parked on residents' 
lawns and people flocked to the bluffs to take 
pictures. The Dec. 17 edition of the Old Colony 
Memorial reported that more than 10,000 people 
swarmed around the area to catch a glimpse of the 
60,000-pound mammal. "The surging crowds had 
little thought of what routes they were taking to 
see the big animal that had come ashore five days 
earlier," the OCM reported. "Police and selectmen 
alike were receiving phone calls throughout the 
afternoon from property owners complaining of 
property being damaged by trespassers." 

After almost a week on the Manomet 
shore, the stench rising from the 
decaying finback was enough to disrupt 
life all along the bluffs. 

Coast Guard and Woods Hole 
Oceanographic Institute officials met to 
z discuss how to dispose of the corpse. 
5 Its location prevented heavy equipment 
J from getting to the dead mammal, so it 
^ could not be dissected and the pieces 
i buried onshore. The original plan was to 
^ have the Coast Guard tow the body out 
ES to sea and sink it by puncturing its torso. 

Entrance to the parking lot at Plymouth Long Beach as it 
appeared in the 1 970s. Daily parking was either $3 or $5, 
depending on which sign was being enforced. 

But that plan was scrapped after high 
winds blew the finback 250-feet farther 
out of the water overnight. 

Purity Supreme supermarket at the Myles 
Standish Plaza on state Route 44 as it appeared in 
the 1970s. 

The Plymouth Fire Dept. finally poured 
kerosene on it and burned it up, but not without 
difficulties. According to the OCM, firefighters 
sprayed the finback with 1 ,600 gallons of kerosene 
from a pumper truck and attempted to set it ablaze 
with blowtorches. It took more than five hours to 
heat the entire hulk to a combustible temperature. 
Working around the tides, it took three days for 
firefighters to incinerate most of the carcass. The 
surviving remains were left to be eaten by wildlife. 
Plymouth thus became the first known community 
to dispose of a beached whale by burning it. 

- Jessica Carvalho 


For 40 years, working in an enclosed but 
unheated alley on Main Street, he repaired shoes, 
boots and handbags. When he retired in 1989 at 
the age of 77, Plymouth lost not only a well-known 
cobbler but also an unforgettable personality. 


He was born Giovanni Pellegrini in Rimini on 
Italy's northern Adriatic coast, but locally he was 
widely known simply as John the cobbler, a man 
who could repair anything made of leather, a soft- 
spoken man with traces of an Italian accent who 
remembered every customer and never gave out a 
claim check. 

His workplace was only four feet wide and 
about 60 feet long. It was a space between the 
walls of two downtown buildings, one a gift shop, 
the other a florist. There was no plumbing. He went 
into an adjacent building to use a toilet. There 
was no running water, so he collected rainwater 
outside the back door when he needed moisture. 
There was no heat, so he used an electric space 
heater to warm his customers and himself in cold 

When John Pellegrini closed his shop for the 

Mestled between a gift shop and florist on Main 
Street was John Pellegrini's narrow shoe repair 
shop, c. 1970s. 

last time in October 1 989, Selectman Bruce Arons, 
whose furniture store was located just around 
the corner on Middle Street, said, "He's part of 
Plymouth's history, a Main Street landmark." Arons, 
who was 8 when Pellegrini took over the Towne 
Shoe Repair shop in 1949, said, "It's amazing how 
he worked there all those years in what is really 
an alley." 

"It's a palace," Pellegrini said. 

- John Chaffee 


The evolution of Plymouth town government 
accelerated dramatically in the last half of the 20th 
century as the town doubled its population and 
nearly doubled it again ... . 

During the post-World War II period, as it had 
in colonial times, the town was experiencing 
difficulty in meeting quorum requirements for its 
open town meeting. On occasions the police were 
sent out to round up citizens so the town could 
accomplish its business. A committee decided 
the solution lay in representative town meeting 
and to that end it asked the state Legislature to 
approve the new governmental form as a home 
rule amendment. The state did so in 1952, the 
town held elections in 1 953 and in 1 954 the town 
instituted representative town meeting. 

As the town's population exploded, selectmen 
determined that the town needed a more 
centralized administrative structure. After town 
meeting turned down their initial request, they 
placed the seating of a charter commission on 
the ballot in 1972. The result was adoption of the 



town's first local government charter since 1627, 
a document that provided for the seating of an 
executive secretary to the selectmen. 

Over the years, citizens proposed several new 
schemes to make government more effective. 
A series of votes in the late 1980s and early 
1990s finally resulted in a change of form. After 
voters narrowly turned down a town council- 
town manager plan, town meeting voted to ask 
the Legislature to put in place a selectmen-town 
manager format. In 1991, voters endorsed the 
proposal to make the executive secretary a strong 

town manager, increasing administrative authority 
and making the town clerk and town treasurer 
appointed rather than elected positions. 

Atthe beginning ofthe21 St century an organized 
group, many of whom had come to Plymouth from 
cities and were comfortable with the city form 
of government, proposed a strong mayor and an 
1 1 -member town council to replace the selectmen 
and town meeting. The proposal was decisively 
turned down by voters after a spirited campaign. 

- Laurence Pizer 


Founded in 1937 by Dr. A. Franklin and Agnes 
Trask, the Priscilla Beach Theater in Manomet was 
at the end of the 20th century the oldest barn theater 
still in operation and had been for many years one 
of the most respected schools of theater training in 
America. TheTrasks were instrumental in bringing 
live theater to the Plymouth community, irregularly 
at first, but in its heyday hosting performances 
seven days a week. 

Among the stars who performed at Priscilla 
Beach were Gloria Swanson in "A Goose for the 
Gander," Charles Ruggles in "Nothing But the 
Truth" and Diana Barrymore in "Laura." Later, a 
number of aspiring actors and actresses trained 
at Priscilla Beach, including Paul Newman, Rob 
Reiner, Dan Blocker, Sandy Dennis and Al Brooks. 

In 1962, James Lonigro, aka Geronimo Sands, 
an accomplished performer of stage, screen, radio 
and television, bought the theater from Dr. Trask 
and continued to operate it into the 21 st century. 

- Philip Born stein 


In 1900 if you were old and 
infirm you stayed at home, usually 
cared for by your children. There 
were no nursing homes. The 
Fragment Society, founded in 
1818 to help Plymouth residents 
who needed some of the bare 
necessities of life, opened the 
Ryder Flome in 1891 to help the 
elderly who had no one to care 
for them. In addition, the town 
operated an alms house at Jenney 

After World War II, as the need 
for elderly care increased because 
people were living longer, a few 
private homes provided a limited 
number of live-in opportunities for older citizens. 
According to Geoffrey Stewart, administrator of 
the Newfield House nursing home, such facilities 
were in older buildings with no air conditioning, 
no sprinkler systems or smoke detectors. "Luckily, 
there were no major tragedies in Plymouth," he 
said in an early 21 st century interview. 

By the 1960s the family model was failing to 
meet current needs and demands, Stewart said. 
So nursing homes designed specifically to serve 
the elderly, such as Newfield House, began to be 
built. By the end of the 20th century, there were 
at least seven nursing homes in Plymouth, serving 
older seniors, many in need of more critical care. 

Stewart said that when Newfield House opened 
in 1962 the average age of a resident was in the 

Newfield House nursing home was built on a hill overlooking 
downtown Plymouth. It opened in 1962. 

70s. By the end of the century the average was 
over 90. "And we have a handful over 100," 
Stewart said. 

- John Chaffee 


Each day had its special adventures - swimming 
in the warm water on the edge of the shallow bay 
at Saquish where you could walk out from sand 
bar to sand bar ... We dug clams in that same area 
of flats, mostly, as I remember, with bare hands ... 
Some days we were socked in with fog and found 
a great book ... and curled up on a sandy couch in 
perfect contentment .... 

Evenings found us on the ocean beach with a 
good driftwood fire, which kept our fronts warm, 
wearing tattered sweaters dragged from old chests 
in the cottage to warm our backsides. Going to bed 


Lighthouse at the Gurnet with Plymouth Long Beach in the background. 

by the light of the wonderful old oil lamps with 
that distinctive smell that lingered even during 
the day and looking out at the lighthouse as we 
sank into exhausted sleep, knowing that another 
exciting day lay ahead was my happiness. (See: 
Vol. I, "Gurnet Light Singled Out," p. 80.) 

My childhood memories of the Gurnet ended 

with the advent of World War II when no one 
could come out to the isolated area due to fear that 
German U-boats offshore might drop off spies. The 
beach was patrolled by military personnel, some 
stationed at the Gurnet, some at the Powder Point 
Bridge area in Duxbury. 

- Elaine Nudd 


Most of us knew the storm was coming, although 
it arrived later Monday morning than had been 
forecast. It was Feb. 6, 1978, and because a winter 
storm watch had been issued Sunday, I went to 
work early Monday to prepare work assignments 
in anticipation of the storm. I was an electrical 
engineer at the New Bedford Gas and Edison Light 
Co. on Summer Street. 

By mid-morning the snow and wind had already 
caused a few outages. By Monday night the storm 
had reached an intensity that prevented line crews 
from working - except for serious emergencies. 
Work was suspended for the night as we all "rode 
it out." We were just beginning to sense what a 
whopper this storm was to become. It didn't begin 
to calm down until late the next morning. 

In Plymouth, the entire town was without power 
and many streets were impassible due to downed 
trees. It was one of the biggest storms of the century. 
Bert's restaurant at the base of Long Beach became 
an iconic symbol of the storm's destruction. It had 
been hit by a double whammy: First, late Monday 
night the high winds tore off the porch; then on 
Tuesday afternoon the high tide and rough surf 
came over the seawall and breached the exterior 
wall of the main dining room. The surf deposited a 
large granite boulder into what was left of the dining 
room, a souvenir of the storm that took a prominent 
place in the rebuilt restaurant's entryway for many 
years to come. 

Farther south, the Taylor Avenue section of White 
Horse Beach had flooded. Oceanfront homes and 
cottages suffered the worse damage from the wind 


and high surf while homes on the land side were 

According to the Feb. 1 6 Old Colony Memorial, 
five years of conservation and restoration work 
along two miles of Long Beach was wiped out, 
creating the threat of a breach of the barrier beach 
that protects the inner harbor. 

North of Plymouth, in Marshfield, the road 
to Brant Rock had washed out and homes were 
turned over or had walls blown out by the wind. 
The peninsula town of Hull was temporarily turned 
into an island with the local Coast Guard station 
providing shelter for about 1 00 residents. 

Farther north, along Route 128, more than 3,500 
cars had been abandoned, a few with persons 
deceased by carbon monoxide poisoning. It took 
most of a week to clear the roads, restore electricity 
and resume mail service. National Guard assistance 
came from as far away as the Carol inas - a bit of 
irony, that being the source of the storm. 

- Ca/7 Jayko 


In the blizzard of 1 978, Plymouth was effectively 
closed down for four or five days. The governor 
prohibited traffic on the roads. At that time. Dr. 
Sanford Leslie and I were together in our practice. 
Dr. Leslie lived on Manter's Point and I was in his 
house when the storm crashed that huge rock into 
Bert's restaurant. 

Dr. Leslie and I took turns in being at Jordan 
FHospital to provide 24-hour coverage. He had 
no way of driving out of Manter's Point, so for a 
couple of days I would pick him up and take him 

to the hospital. 

One day at about four o'clock in the morning 
while I was on emergency obstetrics, I received 
a phone call at home and was told there was a 
pregnant woman, not my patient, who was in 
active labor in an ambulance on the way to Jordan 
Hospital. I drove up Route 3 and somewhere 
between Exits 3 and 5 I saw an ambulance parked 
on the side of the road with a police car, its lights 

I pulled up beside the ambulance and because 
of the cold I was wearing a heavy coat, so the police 
officer couldn't readily identify me as a doctor. He 
was quite irate and asked me what I was doing 
there. I said I was the doctor who was supposed to 
be delivering a baby in the ambulance. I showed 
him my identification, but he was still skeptical. I 
asked him if there was a woman in the ambulance 
having a baby and he said yes. I said if a woman 
was delivering a baby in that ambulance I should 
be there. 

We opened the back door of the ambulance. 
Inside was a young woman EMT - emergency 
medical technician - whom I had trained to deliver 
babies. She had just delivered the baby. I saw that 
the EMT had done very well and the mother was 
just lying there, but the placenta had not yet been 

I told them to close the ambulance door, 
introduced myself to the mother and told her I was 
supposed to help her deliver at the hospital, but 
obviously she couldn't wait. She said OK, now 
what? I told her I was going to deliver the placenta 
and then we would continue on to the hospital 

Plymouth Cultural Council 


A gala dinner 

li-.ilUMii););i]urnic"I creations by your friends and nci(;lihc)rs. 
/'nil ■<■<■(/< /(' help fund public sculpture bononrij; immignini sflthr^ ' 

Saturday, October 14, 2000, 7 PM 
Memorial Hall, Plymouth 

Poster promoting a fundraiser for the monument 
to post-Pilgrim immigrants that was dedicated in 
Brewster Gardens on Oct. 6, 2001 . 

and would check her out there. She agreed and 
things went along well. I got back into my car and 
followed the ambulance with a police escort. She 
stayed for two or three days at the hospital and 
later became my patient. 

- Barry Meltzer 


In 1944, having spent nearly 
four years in military service during 
World War II, three of which were 
in the South Pacific, I returned to 
Plymouth as a disabled veteran 
and went to work for the New 
England Telephone and Telegraph 
Co. The company was controlled 
by the American Telephone and 
Telegraph Co. (AT&T). We called 
it "Ma Bell." 

I worked in construction and 
became friendly with Tom Regan, 
who was a supervisor in another 
department. As the years went on, 
we became the closest of friends 
until his death. 

We dug postholes by hand 
with a bar and shovel and used 
pole picks to straighten them. We 
then filled the holes by hand and stamped the soil 
real good. We also climbed poles with spurs and a 
safety belt and put on cross-arms to run cable and 

We worked inall kinds of weather. The worst was 
an ice storm or freezing rain. It was very dangerous. 
We had to be careful that electric wires did not 
break and fall on telephone wires or we could get 
electrocuted, even though we wore gloves. 

When there was a storm with wires and poles 
down, we would try to get the phones working, 
even if we had to work late or on weekends, so 
our customers would have telephone service 

Well-known local 20th c i'liUiry artist Samuel Evans working at the foot of Leyden Street, left, with his prize-winning 
painting of Plymouth Long Beach at right. 

as soon as possible and then they could call the 
electric light company or anybody necessary if an 
emergency occurred. 

Working for "Ma Bell" was a good choice for 
me. It was a good company with good benefits 
...we were like a small family and respected one 
another. Unfortunately, after a number of years. 
New England Tel was merged with New York 
Telephone and became Bell Atlantic. We lost the 
"family touch" and became just a number. 

- Allen Cappella 


Building new highways in Plymouth has never 
resulted from hasty impulses, john Armstrong, 
state representative and local selectman in the 
1 940s, long advocated relocating the winding state 
Route 44 from downtown Plymouth to Carver. 
His belief in the need for a more up-to-date east- 
west highway was finally validated in 1999 when 
a platoon of giant earthmoving machines began 
work at Route 3's Exit 7. 

Of course. Route 3 was a story in itself. In the 
early years of the 20th century the main route 
from Boston to Cape Cod, designated state Route 


3, wound its way through North Plymouth and 
Plymouth center, over the Pine Hills and through 
Manomet to the Cape Cod Canal. 

By mid-century, the summer traffic in Plymouth 
center was bumper-to-bumper, stop and start. 
Plans for a circumferential highway that by-passed 
North Plymouth, Plymouth center and Manomet 
had been drafted in the 1930s but construction 
was put on hold during World War II. During the 
war Plymouth's traffic thinned as gasoline rationing 
restricted tourism and Cape Cod vacations. 

As the war was reaching a conclusion in 1945, 
Selectman-Representative Armstrong started agitat- 
ing for the resumption of highway construction. 
This time he was successful. A headline on the 
front page of the Old Colony Memorial on May 3 1 , 
1 945, announced the big news: "By-Pass for Plym- 
outh Tops State's Post-War Road Building Program." 

Over the next several years a new state Route 
3 linking Kingston (at a long-standing Howard 
Johnson's restaurant) to the Sagamore Bridge over 
the Cape Cod Canal was constructed to bypass the 
most heavily populated parts of Plymouth. The old 
Route 3 became state Route 3A, winding its way 
through North Plymouth, Plymouth center, over 
the Pine Hills into Manomet and on to Cape Cod. 

- Doris Johnson 


Soon after being discharged from the Army 
Air Corps, having served with the 15th Air Force 
in Italy, Plymouth native Alfred Sitta bought 
three adjacent house lots on a dirt road in North 
Plymouth. It was called Westerly Road and for a 

time was considered the route for a downtown 
Plymouth bypass. While he and family members 
built a house on the middle of the three lots, he 
recalled that only two or three cars would rumble 
by each day, raising a cloud of dust in their wake. 

By the end of the century, long after Westerly 
Road had been paved and Sitta had retired, he 
liked to sit outside his house in the morning sun 
and watch as hundreds of cars passed by every 
day, using the road as a connector to and from 
Route 44 and North Plymouth. 

- John Chaffee 


Out of the thousands of athletes who at some 
time during the 20th century called Plymouth home, 
a select few achieved widespread prominence. 

The town's first professional athlete was Henry 
Gilford Picard, who learned how to play golf at 
the Plymouth Country Club, went on to win a 
number of major tournaments, including the 1938 
Masters and 1939 PGA Championship (See: "The 
greening of Plymouth," pp. 143-147). Picard was 
posthumously inducted into the World Golf Hall of 
Fame in 2006. 

Two graduates of Plymouth-Carver Regional 
High School went on to pitch in major league 
baseball, each of them briefly with the Boston Red 
Sox. Tom McCarthy, a 1979 graduate who threw 
two no-hitters as a senior, made his major league 
debut on July 5, 1 985, when he pitched one inning 
for the Red Sox. Later, he was a member of the New 
York Mets and Chicago White Sox organizations. 
He played in 40 major league games, compiling a 

3-2 record. 

Mike Remlinger, a 1984 Plymouth-Carver 
graduate, pitched for the San Francisco Giants, the 
Mets, Red Sox, Cincinnati Reds, Chicago Cubs and 
Atlanta Braves. In 1999 he compiled a 10-1 record 
and was named to the National League all-star 
team. He also pitched for the Braves in a World 

Although Lynne Jewell wasn't a year-round 
Plymouth resident, she spent several summers 
teaching sailing at the Plymouth Yacht Club. In 
1988, Jewell teamed up with Allison Jolly in the 
Summer Olympic Games in Korea and they won 
the first-ever women's Olympic gold medal in 

- Ryan Wood 


One of the last surviving one-room schoolhouses 
in the country is located at the intersection of Long 
Pond Road and Herring Pond Road in Cedarville. 
Known as the Little Red Schoolhouse, it was built 
sometime in the 19th century to provide schooling 
to the children of both local residents and those of 
migrant cranberry workers. 

After the school was closed in 1 935, it was sold 
to a private party. In 1975 it was re-purchased 
by the town, renovated and converted into a 
community center and local polling place. 

Late in the 19th century, while teaching at the 
school, Sarah Pratt McLean Greene wrote "Cape 
Cod Folks," a novel that sparked the first successful 
fiction libel suit in U.S. history. 

- John Chaffee 



Burial Hill, one of the oldest 
of old Massachusetts graveyards, 
was a tourist attraction in the early 
20th century. Even long before 
1900, tourists were making their 
way on pilgrimages of their own to 
visit Plymouth. As interest in the 
Pilgrims and the history of Plymouth 
increased, more and more people 
began to take notice of the graves up 
on the hill above Town Square. 

But Burial Hill reached its capacity 
early in the century and by 1 91 was 
officially closed as a burying ground. 
The larger cemeteries of Vine Hills 
and Oak Grove to the west became 
the final resting places of most 
Plymouth residents. Burial Hill was 
left to the past, with no income for 
its preservation other than what the 
town allotted. 

However, for the 1920 tercenten- 
ary of the Pilgrim landing (See: Vol. I, 
"Plymouth Tercentenary: 1921," pp. 
93-96.), Burial Hill became part of 
the pageantry occurring throughout 
the town. Old buildings that had once clustered 
around the hill's lower slopes were removed. The 
Army Corps of Engineers constructed a brick-step 
walkway leading from Town Square to the crest of 
the hill. The Sons of the American Revolution built 
a reconstruction of the Revolutionary-era powder 
house on the western edge of the hill. Two 17th 

The Pilgrim Progress ends at Burial Hill, a gravestone museum with three 
centuries of grave art. Included among those marching in 1992 were Wes Ennis, 
right, and his son, Zach, then 6. 

century cannons, gifts from England to the people of 
Plymouth, were erected on a concrete landing at the 
top of the hill, where it was thought that the cannon 
from the Mayflower had been placed in 1 62 1 for the 
defense of the town. 

The final interment on Burial Hill occurred in 
1958 when James Spooner, the last member of a 
storied local family to live in the family house on 

nearby North Street, was buried in the 
Spooner family plot on the southwest 
side of the hill. 

By the end of the century, the 
cannons were gone from their 
platform on the hill. In the summer, 
the magnificent view of Plymouth 
Harbor and Cape Cod Bay from the 
top of the hill was blocked by the 
fol iage of trees that had grown up over 
the years. Many of the gravestones 
had deteriorated - sandstone markers 
8 crumbled, marble memorials eroded, 
I slate stones flaking apart. 
^ Yet, every year, in August and 
o on Thanksgiving Day, there is a re- 
g enactment of the Pilgrim Progress, the 
parade of Pilgrims from their homes 
on the waterfront near Plymouth 
Rock to their meeting house/fort 
at the top of Burial Hill. As part of 
£ the pageantry, brief remembrance 
services are conducted at both the 
Rock and at the top of Burial Hill. 

Although three 19th century 
guidebooks to Burial Hill were long 
out of print, in 2001, the Plymouth 
Public Library Corp. published "Burial Hill in the 
1 990s," a comprehensive catalog of the more than 
2,000 gravestones dating from 1 657 still to be found 
on the hill. It was compiled over six years during the 
1990s as a labor of love by Howard and Barbara 
Robinson of Portland, Ore. 

-Stephen C. O'Neill 


Plymouth mail robbery 

Gail Sullivan Begley 

On Aug. 14, 1962, the Boston Red Sox 
were in Chicago denying the White Sox a 
home-field victory. Little Eva's "The Loco- 
motion" was enjoying a third week at the top 
of the record charts, and President Kennedy 
was signing an executive order to mediate 
a labor dispute at Trans World Airlines. 
Meanwhile, not far from the summer White 
House in Hyannis Port, the largest cash 
robbery in history was unfolding. 

"The Great Plymouth Mail Robbery" may 
sound like a dramatic stickup of the Plymouth 
post office, but it actually describes the armed 
robbery of a mail truck traveling north on 
Route 3 on a quiet Tuesday evening. It was 
a standard red, white, and blue U.S. mail 
delivery vehicle carrying a load that was 
anything but standard: over $1 .5 million in 
U.S. currency. The cash, representing the 
retail receipts of a busy summer weekend, 
was being shipped by registered mail from 
several banks on Cape Cod to the Federal 
Reserve Bank in Boston. 

The truck was manned by a driver and 
a guard, both armed with revolvers. They 
had been dispatched from Boston to pick up 
registered currency pouches from the Hyannis 
and Buzzard's Bay post offices and return 
them to Boston. The pickup was uneventful. 

but the delivery would never happen. On the 
return journey, about five miles north of the 
Clark Road overpass (Exit 3 on Route 3) in 
an area where the view of northbound traffic 
is obstructed by trees, two cars blocked the 
highway and forced the mail truck to stop. It 
appeared at first to be a police roadblock, but 
as the "police officer" and another man 
approached the mail truck with shotguns 
raised, it became clear that an armed robbery 
was underway. The thieves disarmed the 
driver and guard and tied them up in the back 
of the mail truck. A bizarre journey lasting 
nearly two hours then ensued with several 
stops made, apparently to unload the loot. 
The truck, minus its valuable cargo, was 
abandoned at the junction of routes 128 and 
28, with the driver and guard still bound, but 
unharmed, in the back. 

During the holdup, northbound traffic on 
Route 3 was diverted by two men posing as 
highway workers. Using stolen barricade and 
detour materials, they directed motorists to 
exit the highway at Clark Road. According 
to the Old Colony Memorial, several area 
residents were thus diverted. Ironically, the 
reporter who wrote the story was among 
them. In fact, his car hit the barricade in the 
receding daylight, prompting him to report 

the dangerous detour to the police. Reports 
of abandoned cars on Route 3 were also 
received by police; these vehicles were later 
impounded for investigation. In all, six people 
were directly involved in the robbery: the two 
who held up the truck, two at the barricade, 
and two more on the Clark Road overpass. 
The job of the accomplices at the overpass 
was to give a signal when the mail truck 
passed Exit 3, so that the barricade could be 
set up behind it. 

The robbery has been attributed to the 
"A&K Gang" of Watertown, Mass., but it 
probably had its roots in Plymouth, where 
several members of the gang were jailed 
together at the Myles Standish State Forest 
prison colony in the late 1950s. Much of the 
casing and advance legwork for the crime 
was also headquartered in Plymouth, where 
two suspects stayed in July. One of these 
was a regular summer guest at the Hilltop 
Mansion, a popular Manomet resort. Other 
guests recalled that he was strangely absent 
from the resort environs during his stay that 
July. It seems that this vacation was largely 
spent observing the movements of registered 
mail shipments from Cape Cod to Boston. 

A federal crime of great magnitude 
involving the U.S. mail had been committed 


in Plymouth and the U.S. Postal Inspection 
Sen ice headed up the investigation. The 
Inspection Service, founded by Benjamin 
Franklin, has long served to maintain the 
integrity of the mail, defending it from a wide 
range of threats including letter bombs, fraud, 
theft, and illegal mailings (e.g., drugs, child 
pornography, weapons, etc.). A cadre of 
inspectors, including my father. John J. 
Sullivan and his partner Luther Finerfrock 
w orked for years to investigate the Plymouth 
mail robber>'. The inspectors, working with 
the FBI. the state police, and other law 
enforcement officials and aided by inside 
informants, narrowed down a long list of 
initial suspects. Instruments and evidence of 
the crime were recovered from the homes of 
two of the participants and eyewitnesses were 
able to identify several suspects. 

How ever, it became clear during the course 
of the investigation that the thieves would not 
give up easily. They fought back with death 
threats against inspectors, false accusations, 
nuisance lawsuits, and a media assault. Some 
even followed postal inspectors in their cars. I 
learned only decades later that one notorious 
member of the mail robbery gang had once 
tailed my father while he was off duty and 
had my mother in the car with him. I also 
learned much later that during this time my 
father would often make rounds late at night, 
gun in hand, checking the security of our 
house while we slept. 

Despite all this, the investigation went 
forward and a grand jury indicted three 

suspects in 1967. Although there was 
evidence against all three, the case against 
Tommy Richards was by far the strongest, 
so strong in fact, that Richards was likely 
to testify against his accomplices. He thus 
became a dangerous liability to the robbery 
gang. And when the trial commenced on Nov. 
6, 1967, Richards failed to appear. He was 
never seen or heard from again and although 
his body was never found, sources inside the 
Boston underworld confirm the suspicion 
that he was murdered by his Plymouth mail 
robbery associates. In addition to Richards, at 
least 15 other suspects or informants on the 
case were murdered or disappeared. 

Despite the obvious importance 
of the robbery^ the local media 
was oddly silent on the subject. 

The government's case was severely 
weakened by the loss of Richards and much of 
the evidence against the remaining defendants 
was based on eyewitness identification. In an 
ironic twist that brought the story full circle 
back to Plymouth, the presiding judge in his 
final comments to the jury used the infamous 
Sacco & Vanzetti case as a warning against 
depending on eyewitness testimony. (See: 
Vol. I, "Trial of the Century," pp. 85-91 .) The 
two remaining defendants were found not 
guilty. One was later arrested for a subsequent 
robbery and became a government witness, 

giving testimony against major figures in the 
Boston and New England underworld. He 
consequently avoided jail time and received 
a new identity, sentenced instead to spend his 
remaining days looking over his shoulder. 

The Plymouth mail robbery garnered a 
great deal of media coverage regionally 
and nationally, making the cover of Life 
magazine on Aug. 31, 1962. Despite the 
obvious importance of the robbery, the local 
media was oddly silent on the subject. A front 
page article appearing in the Old Colony 
Memorial two days after the robbery was 
entitled "Bypass Local Police in Sleuthing 
for Robbers" and focused on the fact that 
the Plymouth Police Department was not in 
the loop on the investigation. A week later, 
the paper reported on concern generated in 
town when a crew from Life magazine re- 
enacted the crime without notifying local 
police. Little else was ever reported despite 
the dramatic nature of the crime and the 
many controversies and mysteries that it has 
subsequently engendered. 

Those mysteries include the fate of the loot, 
which was never recovered, and the identity of 
those involved beyond the six robbers. Several 
books have covered the topic, but because 
federal investigators could not jeopardize 
ongoing investigations or endanger witnesses, 
their side of the story has not been told. 
Instead, the tale has been spun by admitted 
criminals and Plymouth mail robbery defense 
attorney F. Lee Bailey, who was later disbarred 
for his conduct on other cases. 


Movies in Plymouth 

During the 20th century, before television 
viewing became widespread, one of the 
favorite forms of entertainment in Plymouth 
and throughout the country was going to the 
movies. For many years there were three 
in-town theaters to choose from - the Old 
Colony and Park downtown and the Plymouth 
in North Plymouth. (See: Vol. I, "Two 
Theaters and a Reel Runner," pp. 117-118.) 
In addition, there was for a time a drive-in 
theater in Kingston. Following are some 
memories of movies in Plymouth: 

Park Theater 

A large, red brick structure in the downtown 
area, the Emond Building was built at the cusp 
of Brewster Gardens in 1914 by my grandfather, 
Arthur Emond Sr. The three-story building 
combined residential, commercial and public 
space, including a 594-seat theater originally 
known as the Princess, later the Park. 

The stage, with its large white screen, was 
located on the south or Town Brook end of the 
building. Two rows of connected wooden seats 
with arms were located between aisles that led 
down to the stage. During the era of silent movies 
a pianist sat in the orchestra pit to accompany the 
action on the screen. The floor had a very steep 

Pcirk Theater inarqiiee on Main Street Extension in 
1936. Ferdinand Emond, holding a small black dog, is 
standing in front of the Emond Building. 

incline, which allowed all patrons a good view of 
the stage and movies. The entrance to the theater 
was located at the north end of the building while 
the exit was through two double doors at the south 
end that opened onto a platform one level below 
Main Street Extension. 

In 1931 the theater was wired for sound 
movies, then called "talkies" which, according 
to a permit issued by the selectmen, allowed the 
showing of films during weekdays only. The Park 
then operated as a movie house in the summers 
of 1931-34 when it was closed under a lease to 
Charles Moning, owner and operator of both the 
Plymouth Theater in North Plymouth and the Old 
Colony Theater on the south side of Town Brook 

at Brewster Gardens. Apparently to eliminate 
competition with the Old Colony, Moning closed 
the Park in 1934 and never reopened it. 

- Virginia Eincmd Davis 

Old Colony Theater 

Built in 1914, the Old Colony Theater was 
a 720-seat "palace."... The large marquee with 
the chains holding it to the building, plus all the 
individual big white lights... Do you remember 
the feeling of walking up into the lobby and then 
down into the theater - as if being pulled along to 
your seat? How about the gigantic deep maroon 
velvet curtain. . .Then, the best part, the painting 
on the ceiling, which had three of the nine Greek 
muses resting on clouds. And the tiny white dim 
lights that made it feel like the evening sky. 

- Kathy O 'Donnell 

The Old Colony Theater, oh yes! I spent many 
Saturdays there as a boy . . .My mother would give 
us $1 .00 and off we would go. First stop would be 
Rebuttini's for some penny candy and we would 
smuggle that into the theater under our shirt. We 
always thought that you would get kicked out if 
they caught you bringing in candy. 

When we arrived at the movies we would 
buy our ticket through that little half-round glass 
enclosure out front where the movie lady would 
sit selling them. We always wondered how did 
she get in there? She was the same lady the whole 


time I w ent there, thin woman with blondish hair, 
glasses and always looking well-dressed and 
made up. I think the tickets were maybe 50 cents. 

After we got our tickets we would go in 
through the doors on the left and there it was - the 
popcorn machine and the candy case... We would 
stand in line and get a big hot buttery popcorn and 
a soda and \\ ith the candy we got at Rebuttini's 
that would be all she wrote for that dollar! Then 
w e w ould go through the next set of doors and 
look left and right to see if the balcony was open 
yet. They would only open the balcony if the seats 
downstairs were full... 

The show would start at 1 o'clock, if I 
remember right, and we would get two or three, 
sometimes four great cartoons. I don't remember 
an\ of the names now, but I want to say Popeye 
maybe and some other Disney ones. I do 


The last movie to be shown at the 
Old Colony Theater was "The Red Tent," 
which never ran its full course. On 
opening night, Sunday, Sept. 5, 1971, the 
soundtrack of the film initially distracted 
the audience from being aware that the 
theater ceiling was beginning to fall In. 
Patrons hastily retreated to the lobby 
and street and the theater was closed for 
repairs. But It never reopened for movies. 
Instead, following restoration, it reopened 
briefly In 1 976 as a live theater venture. 

- John Chaffee 

remember going one Saturday and seeing the very 
first showing of "The life and times of Grizzly 
Adams" starring Dan Hagerty. Man, did I love 
that show ! 

That theater was a great part of Plymouth, and 
the greatest part of the whole thing was that at 10, 
1 1 or 12 years old we could walk there and back 
and not worry about some crazed person trying to 
harm us. 

- Danny Hunter 

The ceiling had some paintings or a mural 
of the faces of several beautiful women. One 
of those women was holding a hand mirror and 
if one looked very closely you could see the 
woman's reflection in the mirror. One way my 
children amused themselves before the movie 
started was to speculate how many faces were 
painted on the ceiling, often overlooking the face 
in the hand mirror. 

- Helen (Holnian) Laine 

Most often we went to the movies to be with 
friends and fool around. The balcony was a good 
place to go on a date and the naked gal on the 
ceiling was always good for conversation... Sis 
Reed was the ticket lady and her husband John 
was one of the projectionists. I remember Peter 
Romano as the head usher and his wife as the 
refreshment stand lady... Sis always had her dog 
with her in the ticket booth. Peter had to talk to 
us many times about talking too loud and the 
manager, Mac Mac Donald, did stop the show 
more than once and wait until the audience settled 
down before continuing. 

- Orrin "Bill" Holnian 

Marquee and entrance to the Old Colony Theater in 
downtown Plymouth . 

My mother, Frances Brown, worked at the Old 
Colony movie theater on Main Street Extension 
in downtown Plymouth near Brewster Gardens 
starting in the 1950s. She cleaned the theater 
every morning, seven days a week. We lived 
nearby on Emerald Street off Water Street and my 
sister. Miriam, and I used to walk to the theater 
and help my mom clean before we went to school. 
The movie theater manager would let us go to the 
movies for free... After the movies we would go 
to the Dairy Bar across the street or to Coopers 
Drug Store for ice cream. 

- Shirley (Brown) Delano 


First lady 

Alba Thompson 

No. I had never thought of being a selectman. 
It was never a dream, not an aim, not even a wish. 

I had just enjoyed a month or two of my 
retirement as social studies coordinator for the 
Plymouth-Carver Regional School District. The 
lazy rhythms of July and August days, devoid of 
tensions or paperwork, suited me well. Plymouth 
Long Beach promised long walks with sandlings 
running parallel to me on the edge of the waves. A 
few gulls made gliding approaches to drying kelp. 

For the time being, all that was enough. Of 
course, the eternal question of "what's next?" 
probably was subconscious. The calendar was 
always studded with "dinner at Isaac's with young 
son Tony's family" or "Loren's coming" when 
older son's family visited from Washington. Then 
the more cryptic orders: "Go to bank," "Polish 
silver tea set," "Wash pink Depression Ware" 
filled other dates. 

The warmth of August segued into September, 
and suddenly, along with the pleasant calls of 
friends and three sisters, came a more mysterious 
one. "May we come to see you?" a strong male 
voice asked. Titillating, no? 

My big living room was reasonably neat. The 
fireplace wood had been laid ready for the cool 
day - and I was curious. 

Seven men trooped in and found chairs. I had 
strategically placed myself beside the big desk 

AIha Thompson, a Plymouth native, who 
in 1986 became the town 's first female 
selectman . 

sitting in Uncle Sam's rush-bottomed antique chair, 
which always conveys a sense of solid tradition. 
Women like me, whose parents were immigrants 
and who had brought no furniture to America, just 
empty pockets, sometimes felt a need to borrow 
solidity. (Old Uncle Sam was my husband's 
relative not mine, and his father had been the 
Republican mayor of Trenton, N.J. Real solid!) 

All of the seven men in the delegation had 
been elected or appointed to town offices, some 
of them several times. All of them were quiet, 
hard-working men who had long ago bought into 
a deep affection and loyalty to their town. All of 
them had roots in North Plymouth. All of them 

cherished their Italian, Portuguese or Irish ethnic 

The designated leader asked promptly without 
any preliminaries whether I would consider 
running for selectman. I should have been more 
surprised than I was, I suppose, but at the time 
it seemed a perfectly valid question to me. In 
retrospect, my naivete causes some discomfort, 
yea, even embarrassment. No one asked if I was 
a Democrat or a Republican. No one asked about 
previous experience. 

Of course, I was aware that the board of 
selectmen of those days was caught in perpetual 
3-2 votes and that the gentlemen in my living 
room generally sided with the frustrated minority. 
My inner thoughts considered all that, and I made 
the honest statement that I was an independent 
type, and they had to know they might not always 
be happy with my philosophy or votes. Either 
they believed me or felt they would eventually 
change me, because that statement seemed 
acceptable to them. 

Furthermore, no one spoke of my being a 
woman, truly a campaigner's risk, since no female 
had ever been elected a selectman in the 362 prior 
years of Plymouth history. "If I accepted, would you 
men constitute my campaign committee?" I asked. 
"Yes," they said. And that's how it all began. 

A selectman had resigned from the board, just a 


few months short of the end of his term. I hardly 
had time to malce up ni> mind whether I would 
run to fill that unexpired term when a venerable 
local gentleman gathered enough signatures to 
force a special election. 

His old truck was plastered w ith "I love Alba" 
bumper stickers, which made me cringe when 
the\ began to appear all over town. 

Then came the election signs along Route 44 
and State Road. I almost decided to crawl under 
my bed. Somehow I made it through the coffee 
hours, the public appearances, and election day. 
I beat my opponent by better than a 2-1 margin. 
That was a sweet surprise because he had been a 
professional town employee for several years. He 
also was young and good-looking. Formidable but 

My early appearances with the other four 
(male) selectmen were relatively uneventful 
except for the usual nonsense of lawyers unable to 
decide if I was to be addressed as "selectwoman" 
or "ma'am" or whatever. Then there were the 
engineers who wanted to be helpful and carefully 
indicated aspects of blueprints as if a woman 
could not possibly read the print on her own. 
Since I had already been a maintenance and 
supply officer in the Air Force, been overseas as 
a civil affairs officer in Japan and Korea on Gen. 
Douglas MacArthur's staff, been elected to the 
board of education in Livingston, N.J., where 
building new schools was part of our growth 
pattern, I tried to suppress my small irritation. I 
vowed to be sweet, and I was. 

Early on. I adopted the term "selectman" for 
myself. It was simple. I am happy with being a 
woman, even when some situations seem unduly 

a "man's world." However, I do not usually fight 
the form of words. That's an old battle long since 
won by women. 

My energy was reserved for really important 
battles like equal job opportunity - for all comers, 
and saving Ellisville Harbor from developers. 

I campaigned (ugh!) two more times and was 
reelected handily for six more years, 1986-1992. 

Let us hope all that was a vote of confidence 
remote from my feminine gender. By the end of 
the century two other women had been elected to 
the board of selectmen. Two of us also served as 
chairman during our tenures. 

Other things being equal, women can bring 
some special dimensions to elected office, 
especially if they stubbornly cling to solid values 
and ethics. But the stresses, the sizeable problems, 
the grueling hard work, the loss of privacy, the 
carping criticisms of the uninformed, are endless. 
Do women find the price too much to bear? 

Like a good soldier, I tend to forget the uglier 
battles that every selectman faces and only 
remember the funny small incidents. The small 
encounters, however, are often typical of the daily 
stresses. One day I was busy in a supermarket 
selecting ajar of pickles for my family. A male 
suddenly approached, and it was clear he was 
angry with me because of my vote on an issue 
dear to him. He poked a finger at my chest and 
shouted, "I'll never vote for you again!" I 
pushed his hand away and answered, "Who are 
you kidding? You never voted for me before. Do 
me a favor, don't vote for me." Maybe he was 
unaccustomed to the vehemence coming from a 
five-foot-two woman looking up at his five-foot- 
eleven height. He faded away down the food 

aisle. My lasting insult to him is that I remember 
neither his name nor his beloved issue. 

Then there was the prestigious large 
corporation that gave me a small elaborately 
wrapped box at a welcoming lunch. Later when 
I opened the box. I found a set of gorgeous, 
baroque pearl earrings set in gold. Obviously I 
could accept no such gift and promptly deposited 
them on the local manager's desk for return to 
the president. Later, the apologetic note from the 
president indicated that the earrings were meant 
as a gift "to the entire board of selectmen" not just 
to me. Since I was the only female on that board 
and could only picture one of the males wearing 
those beautiful earrings, my inner amusement at 
the hasty retreat was considerable. 

When I was a selectman, my limit on gifts 
was to a value of $1 .50, then the price of a cup 
of coffee and a Danish pastry. I paid my own 
way with the innate frugality passed on to me by 
my immigrant parents with an overlay of New 
England skepticism. Now secretly I confess I 
liked the baffled look of those men who thought 
a gourmet lunch might have softened me to their 
point of view. I paid for my own lunches, so 
there! The best weapon, even in local politics, is 
a good laugh. 

I wish I could convince competent women 
candidates there is one enormous reward: 
Plymouth is a wonderful town and serving her 
diverse people and helping to shape her future is 
absolutely exhilarating. Plymouth is worth all the 
struggle. Just never run out of Tums and Tylenol. 

(Also by Alba Thompson, see in Vol. I, 
"Growing up Italian in Plymouth," pp. 51-55: and 
"First grade at the Alden Street School," pp. 97-98.) 


Blue Colonial 

David Roderick 

A poem about Plymouth by an award-winning native. 

I was bored until I began rigging catastroplies: pitfalls, 
tree snares, explosions. I dug a hold in the woods, 
hoping that something would fall and shatter a leg. 

I shot at aerosol cans to burst the forest silence. 
Shrapnel tore through ferns. Rodents fled along branches. 
And the trees bored me because I'd climbed their gloom 

to spy over our subdivision, rowed colonials, each the same 
because the mind of a developer planned them that way: 
decks too small for barbeque, monotonous shingles and brick. 

Our colonial was the only blue one in the neighborhood, 

a color I liked, but I wasn't allowed to paint it with my father 

when it needed a fresh coat. He didn't trust me to brush 

with caution and care, though he did let me watch while 
he shot a squirrel with a BB gun one morning, a squirrel 
that lived in our eaves. That's when I gave up asking 

for chores around our house, my father at work in his mask, 
sanding and priming rough spots, creaming a pail of trim. 
Instead, I walked back to the woods and filled a hole 

with my body, became a collector of hints and atmosphere. 
I hunted for incidents, turtles that slipped from the surface, 
feral slinks near the fringe. Once I found a pile of tires 

in a ditch, but when I dragged out a pair, I couldn't find 
a place for them, so I rolled them back to their mulch. 
Those tires brimmed with water that only newts like, 

and when I saw how the sun blinded their eyes, I stopped 
meddling with tires and logs, vernal pools for the sleepers. 
This was near Billington Lake, where a girl once plunged 

through the ice. She'd been trapped for hours before her body 
was pulled from its frozen zone. When her brain thawed, 
she told about a vision she had, how everything she touched, 

living or dead, spun into a string of light. I wanted to have 
such a vision, to feel ice dazzle my eyes, a carboniferous 
smell in my nose while I slept with the newts and salamanders. 

That hold I'd dug held me still, like the axle of a bike wheel, 
a trick that spins backwards. While inside, I was locked 
in that girl's eye, her irises crisscrossed with wings. 

This is what I meant earlier when I said catastrophe: 
some trick art, some careful recording of nighthawk quips. 
I still like to visit those woods near the colonial that is 

no longer blue. The subdivision changed and is 

perpetually changing: living tulips sent into exile, 

ivy crawling the chimneys. A pile of junk is a kind of faith: 

rotten deadfalls, tires that sink, so I will always go back 
to visit the blue colonial and run my fingers over its paint, 
knowing I lived inside it once, maybe five coats ago. 

I look for depressions in the woods where I dug holes 
and climbed trees. I look for bike treads brailled 
into the mud, an old thrill sculpting its chapter. 

This is a place that keeps me frozen: temporary flowers, 
dung-tinged fumes. I walk until I find remnants, shade, 
a canopy for sleep. I remember the trees by their shadows. 

Reprinted with permission of the author. 


Rolling Thunder Revue 

Karin Goldstein 

One Friday in October. Plymouth resident Jill 
Marten-Kokemak received a surprising phone 
call from a friend who had heard that folk- and 
rock- superstars Bob Dylan and Joan Baez were 
to perform the next week at Memorial Hall. Did 
she want a ticket? Having grown up with a folk 
musician brother, she was a long-time fan of Joan 
Baez. She enthusiastically said, "Yes!" 

In fall of 1975, Bob Dylan and friends toured 
New England, performing live and filming 
for a quasi-documentary (which later would 

In fall of the nation^s 
Bicentennial^ Bob Dylan and 
friends toured New England. 

come out as the film "Renaldo and Clara"). The 
unannounced opening of the tour in Plymouth on 
Oct. 30 was discovered by Old Colony Memorial 
managing editor Mark Johnston. He had heard 
that a group had petitioned to use Memorial Hall 
for a concert, and connected it with the news that 
Dylan was going to tour the northeast. 

"There was something going on — it piqued my 
curiosity. I put some things together, as incredible 
as it seemed at the time." 

According to Johnston, Dylan chose to begin 


the tour at Memorial Hall in Plymouth 
as it was a small, personal venue. Better 
known for sporting events like boxing and 
wrestling, it was a site where promoters 
could not control ticket sales. In spite 
of the fact that the concert was never 
officially announced, tickets, which sold 
for $7.50, were gone the day after they 
went on sale. 

Wes Ennis, a young photographer on 
the OCM staff, heard about the concert 
through the paper. While not a big 
Dylan fan, Ennis thought, "This is a 
historic event, I've got to see it." He 
joined hundreds of people lining up 
outside Memorial Hall to buy tickets. 
"The line went down the sidewalk," 
he recalled. 

While Dylan stayed in Plymouth 
(Johnston traced him to a rental in 
Ellisville), his company stayed at 
a motel in Falmouth. In addition 
to Joan Baez, members of the 
Rolling Thunder Revue grew to 
include folk singers Ramblin' 
Jack Elliott, Ronee Blakley 
and Bob Neuwirth, guitarist 
Roger McGuinn, violinist 
Scarlet Rivera, poet Allen 

tie at M 


Ginsberg and playwright Sam Shepard. 

One reason for choosing Plymouth was 
location, associated with the nation's beginning. 
Plymouthean Bob Marten, who worked for 
Plimoth Plantation, received a call from long- 
time friend Bob Neuwirth. Marten knew several 
members of the band through both folk music 
and the protest movement. "We're making a 
movie and want some good sites to 
film. What's Plymouth got?" Marten 
recommended the Mayflower II for 
historic exteriors, and the fort at the 
Plantation for interiors, so long as they 
filmed before the visitors came. 

The day before the concert the 
crew filmed Dylan, surrounded by 
bodyguards, at Plymouth Rock. 
"Tourists, older people from Iowa, 
were upset that they couldn't get near 
the Rock," Marten recalled. Most of 
the tourists didn't know Dylan from 
any other vacationer. Marten himself 
participated in the filming, dressed as 
John Wayne, offering a maple leaf to 
Allen Ginsberg, who played a wizard 
seated on Plymouth Rock. 

The crew also filmed at Plimoth 
Plantation that day, followed by an incredible 
party, remembered by participants a quarter of a 
century later. On the evening of the party, Troy 
Creane, an interpreter in the 1627 Pilgrim Village, 
got a phone call at home from her supervisor. 
Almost whispering, she informed Troy that there 
was to be a party in the Village that night for the 
Rolling Thunder Revue. 

'"You must not tell anyone, and you must 

come in costume,'" Creane remembered being 
told. A long-time folkie and fan of Joan Baez, she 
decided to bring her son Kyle, as it was such a 
special occasion. 

The party began around midnight and lasted 
until 3 a.m. "People started playing music," Pat 
Baker, who also attended the event, remembered. 
"Are they here yet?" people wondered about 

Dylan and Baez. Some reported that the pair had 
been yelled at by a supervisor, or denied entrance 
by a security guard. While Dylan and Baez were 
not at the fort. Baker spotted violinist Scarlet 
Rivera playing topless, covered in black paint. 
Pilgrim interpreter Joel Pontz approached her. 
"You're naked, aren't you." "Yes, it's very cold," 
Rivera replied. Baker spotted a man holding a 
crock of pickled beets, and realized that he was 

Allen Ginsberg. 

Plymouthean Kate Curran also attended the 
party. She had just arrived back in Plymouth 
after several years away, and was excited to be 
newly pregnant. She spent the evening talking 
with Ramblin' Jack Elliott. "He was a hustler," 
she recalled. Even after she informed him that 
she was pregnant, he kept on hitting on her. "I 
couldn't get a word in edgewise." 

Troy Creane arrived at 1 1 p.m. Her 
assignment was to make a big salad to 
feed the crew in the fort. She and her 
son went into the Bradford House in 
the Village and began to prepare the 
fire. She heard a knock at the door, and 
who should appear but Joan Baez! Baez 
and Kyle set about preparing salad. For 
the next hour Baez asked Troy about 
the Village as they fixed salad together. 
"There was no talk about the concert," 
Creane recalled. "Too much would have 
absolutely ruined it. It was a magic 

The concert took place the next day. 
Crowds of lucky ticket-holders lined 
up in front of Memorial Hall. Those 
who were not fortunate enough to have 
tickets propositioned from the sidelines. Jill 
Kokernak's mother was offered up to $100 for her 
ticket, but refused. 

Wes Ennis arrived at Memorial Hall to join the 
line. "You could smell the pot," he remembered. A 
Greyhound bus was parked outside the hall, with 
the logo "Phydeau." "That was a hippie bus," he 

Press was allowed, but cameras were expressly 

Rolling Thunder Revue principals aboard Mayflower II while in Plymouth for 
two concerts at Memorial Hall. From left. Boh Neuwirth, Roger McGuinn, 
Bob Dylan, Bob Marten of Plimoth Plantation and Ramblin' Jack Elliott. 
(Photo from "The Rolling Thunder Logbook" by Sam Shepard) 


forbidden, as the concert series was being filmed. 
While Ennis was an OCM photographer, he was 
not allowed to take pictures. Photographer Ed 
Nute tried to get into the concert with a camera. "I 
said I was from the OCM, the Globe, the Ledger 
but they wouldn't let me in." 

Mark Johnston of the OCM attended the 
first night. The concert consisted of various 
performers coming and going. "The loose quality 
was appealing, however, and contributed to the 
audience sensation of 'experiencing' rather than 
simply "seeing" it," he wrote in his review for the 

Wes Ennis recalled seeing a logo with a fist for 
Rubin "Hurricane" Carter. "No one knew what 

it was — it was for some sort of a cause." Carter, 
an African-American boxer, had been tried and 
convicted for the murder of three people in a New 
Jersey bar in 1966. Many people felt that Carter 
was unfairly convicted. Dylan sang the song 
"Hurricane," proclaiming Carter's innocence, that 
night. The song came. out later on the "Desire" 

The second concert occurred on Halloween. 
According to Jill Kokernak, Bob Dylan and Joan 
Baez came out in clown masks. Dylan sang 16 
songs alone, including "Hurricane" and "Mr. 
Tambourine Man." Baez performed with Dylan 
in the second half. For Kokernak, the highlight 
of the concert was Baez's a cappella rendition 

of "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot." "It brought the 
house down," she recalled years later. 

The concert closed with "This Land is Your 
Land," for which Dylan was joined by all of the 
performers. "To have everyone on stage at once 
was incredible," Kate Curran remembered. "The 
energy was amazing. 

"To be held in Memorial Hall, where I'd had 
ballet recitals and church sales, where nothing had 
ever happened before — it was a great feeling," 
Curran recalled. More than 30 years later, 
Plymoutheans still remembered the electrifying 
concert, and that Plymouth's modest Memorial 
Hall had the unique honor of opening the Rolling 
Thunder tour. 


In a review in the New York Times on Nov. 
1 . 1975. Bob Dylan's unexpected appearance at 
Plymouth's Memorial Hall was cited as "surely 
the most American and most democratic of all 
of Mr. Dylan's performing ventures." Dylan, 
the reviewer wrote, "has always had a sense of 
occasion, and so it seemed only appropriate for 
him to begin his latest, most unusual tour here in 
'America's hometown' as Plymouth likes to call 

The reviewer said the 3 '/^-hour performance 
"may turn out to be his most loving as well." 
Noting that most pop-music concerts at that time 
took place in gigantic indoor arenas or outdoor 
stadiums, Dylan was commended for beginning 
his new Rolling Thunder Revue tour in a 

venue that allowed him to play directly to his 
fans. And while the bulk of the "mostly young 
audience" seemed never to have seen or heard 
Dylan in person before, "by the end they were 
rapturously won over," providing the troupe 
with a standing ovation for "10 solid minutes 
after the curtain went down." 

The new Rolling Thunder tour "would seem 
to mark a new evolution in the ever-protean 
Dylan career," the reviewer suggested. "He 
started as a folkie in the Guthrie tradition, 
then outraged the purists with his move to 
rock in 1965, then explored country and other 
byways of Americana. The current tour is 
like a summation of all those influences - part 
acoustic, part electric, folk and rock and politics 

and ballads fused together into something higher 
and more personal ." 

As a Bicentennial gesture to "this country's 
true spirit," it was "fitting 
indeed" that the Rolling 
Thunder Revue tour 
began in Plymouth, the 
reviewer concluded. 

Ticket Stub from the 
Oct. 31. 1975 Rolling 
Thunder Revue concert. 
( Courtesy of Jill Marten 


The greening of Plymouth 

During the last quarter of the 20th century, as leisure time became more available and television helped promote the game, 
Plymouth became a haven for golfers. A local sportswriter tells the story. 

Ryan Wood 

A large, open field on Court 
Street in North Plymouth 
became a gathering place for 
people to play recreational 
sports in the early 1900s. The 
Robbins family owned the 
land, and after several requests, 
they rented the land for social 
gatherings and sporting events, 
including baseball and tennis. 
Those involved decided to 
start an association, which they 
named the Plymouth Golf and 
Tennis Club. It was established 
in 1903 and according to 
newspaper reports, there were 
nine golf holes on the property. 
The club disbanded in 1906, one 
year after Plymouth Cordage Co. treasurer Gideon 
F. Holmes bought the property and put an end to 
all activities on the land. Playing golf ended in 
North Plymouth. But the sport's hiatus in the rest 
of the town was brief. 

On March 31 , 1906, the Pilgrim Hotel 
overlooking Warren's Cove agreed to build a 

A drive from the first tee of the Plymouth County Golf Links in 1907. That's Warren Avenue in 
the background. 

nine-hole golf course. Scottish professional 
golfer and course designer Alexander H. Findlay 
was asked to design the course, but there was 
only enough room on the land around the Pilgrim 
Hotel for three holes. Henry Hornblower, who 
summered in Plymouth and owned land across 
Warren Avenue from the hotel, made a generous 
offer. Hornblower agreed to let the hotel use 

some of his land rent-free for 
the remaining six holes. When 
the course was finished, holes 1 , 
2, and 9 were on the hotel and 
waterside of Warren Avenue, 
while holes 3 through 8 were 
across the street. Golfers had 
to walk across the street twice 
to play the full nine holes. 
The course was known as the 
Plymouth County Golf Links, 
and it opened in the spring of 

Two years later. Judge Harry 
B. Davis asked Hornblower if 
the club could move its three 
oceanside holes across Warren 
Avenue and once again he 
agreed to let his land be used rent-free. The 
unified nine-hole course was briefly known as 
the Bay View Nine , and on April 30 , 1 9 1 , the 
Plymouth Country Club (PCC) was organized and 

After a few years, the club's members wanted 
more — nine holes more. They wanted an 18- 


Aerial view of the 27-li(>le Plyiiunilh Country Club c. 1940. That's Warren Cove in the foreground and the Eel River 
running off to the right. The road running in front of the golf course was then Route 3, later 3A. 

hole championship course and a private club so 
Homblower commissioned another Scottish golf 
course designer, the legendary Donald Ross, 
to add nine holes. On July 21 , 1921 , the Ross- 
designed Valley View Nine made its debut. 

In the fall of 1929 another Ross-designed nine 
of>ened, but the original Bay View nine was on 
the verge of foreclosure. In 1932. during the 
Depression, it was foreclosed, but club members 
scrambled to keep it open and for a few years it 


Initially^ golf was a game 
for an affluent few. 

was operated as a public course while the other 
Ross-designed 18 holes operated as a members- 
only course. Eventually the Pilgrim Hotel took 
over the original nine and kept it open for its 
guests. The hotel then closed it for good in 1946. 


The Homblower family owned the PCC course 
until 1972 when it was sold to its members. 

Initially, golf was a game for an affluent few. 
But after an unknown ex-caddie named Francis 
Ouimet defeated the two best golfers in the world 
to win the 1913 U.S. Open Championship, the 
game began to appeal to a larger segment of 
the population. Among those who witnessed 
Ouimet's victory at The Country Club in 
Brookline were Henry Homblower and his son, 
Ralph, who lived nearby. Their impact on golf in 
Plymouth continued throughout the century. 

Two of the most successful golfers in the 
history of the sport learned the game and played 
numerous rounds at the Plymouth Country Club 
- Henry Picard and Joanne Goodwin. Picard, a 
Plymouth native, was inducted into the World 
Golf Hall of Fame in April 2006. He learned the 
game while serving as a caddie at PCC. Later, 
after becoming a professional, he won two major 
championships: the 1938 Masters Tournament and 
the 1939 Professional Golfers' Association (PGA) 

Championship. He also played on the 1935 and 
1937 Ryder Cup teams. All this in a time that has 
become known as the golden era of golf, featuring 
such giants of the game as Walter Hagen, Gene 
Sarazen and Sam Snead. 

Goodwin, who also spent many hours playing 
the PCC links, was an honor student in the 
Plymouth school system before she won several 
women's amateur tournaments, including the 
Mass. State Women's tournament in 1961 . She 
finished second in the 1959 U.S. Women's 
Amateur Championship. She also earned a spot 
on the 1960 Curtis Cup team. Goodwin went on 
to win several honors, including an induction into 
the New England Women's Sports Hall of Fame 
in 2003. 

Goodwin learned the game from her father, 
Harold, who was the PCC professional from 
1942-1955. When his son, Gerry 
Goodwin, took over as the PCC 
professional in 1960, he was the 
youngest club pro in the New 
England section of the PGA. 

"I was always around the course 
so I had a lot of time to play the 
game," Joanne Goodwin recalled in 
a newspaper interview in 2005 . "I 
started playing golf when I was 13 
and then began to play in different 
tournaments when I was 14." 

Also in 2005, Gerry Goodwin 
published a history of the PCC: 
"Plymouth Country Club 1900- 

Henry Hornblower died in 
1941 , but his golf legacy lived on. 

in the form of an annual Hornblower Memorial 
Tournament at PCC, which began in 1965. The 
tournament usually attracted some of the best 
golfers in New England to Plymouth. PCC hosted 
a number of New England PGA tournaments as 
well as the qualifying tournament for the 2001 
U.S. Senior Open. At the turn of the 21st century, 
PCC continued to provide golfers with an old- 
time, classic feel, not to mention a challenging 
par-69 course. 

While at first only the more wealthy residents 
and summer visitors played the game, by mid- 
century membership at the PCC had been opened 
to almost anyone who could afford it. 

"While PCC was indeed private, it was by no 
means exclusive to any socioeconomic group," 
recalled Gerry Montanari. After World War II, the 
game began to appeal to more and more people. 

A lone golfer pulls a cart with his clubs as he walks up a fairway at the Atlantic 
Country Club in south Plymouth. 

Equipment improvements and the introduction 
of carts to carry clubs helped make the game 
easier and more enjoyable, not to mention the 
appearance of golf on television and the interest 
in the game generated by President Eisenhower 
and popular professional golfers such as Arnold 
Palmer. As more people began to play, more 
courses were developed throughout the country, 
a movement that led to a number of new places 
to play in Plymouth, particularly during the last 
decade of the century. 

In the 1950s, the first new golf course in 
Plymouth in almost 40 years. White Cliffs, 
was built in Cedarville, as part of a resort hotel 
complex, but the property was sold to a developer 
who wanted to build houses. Thirty years later, 
another developer who had acquired the property 
and combined housing with the golf course 
went bankrupt and residents of 
the community bought the course. 
They had acquired a picturesque 
par-62 course with many scenic 
views of Cape Cod Bay. Partially 
re-designed by South African 
professional golfer and winner of 
nine major PGA championships, 
Gary Player, White Cliffs became a 
3,1 81 -yard course, situated on both 
sides of the southernmost stretch 
of Route 3A. Holes 1-3 and 12- 
18 were on the ocean side, while 
holes 4-1 1 were across the street. 
The 18th hole, atop the Cedarville 
bluffs, ran parallel to the Atlantic 
Ocean, and on a clear day, provided 
a unobstructed view of the arm of 


Cape Cod all the way out to Provincetown. 

Until the early 1990s, there were only two 
places in Plymouth to play golf. PCC and White 
ClitTs. and neither course was open to the public. 
That all changed in 1992 when Charles Caranci 
secured permits for 169 homes on virgin land off 
w hat w as then Route 44. the road out of town 
w est to Carver. He built five modular homes 
on the property before his wife. Jane, a PCC 
member, proposed building an 18-hole executive 
golf course on the rest of the land. 

In the fall of 1992, Squirrel Run Golf and 
Countr\ Club opened to the public and. fittingly, 
Jane Caranci was part of the first foursome to play 
the par-57 course. 

Because it included many short holes. Squirrel 
Run quickly became a hole-in-one haven, 
recording about 50 every year. And each year the 
course hosted a Hole-in-One Tournament, inviting 
everyone who ever had their Squirrel Run tee shot 
find the bottom of the hole to participate. 

In July 1994, Caranci extended his golf 
business deeper into West Plymouth. On South 
Meadow Road, across from the Plymouth 
Municipal Airport, he provided golfers with 
Plymouth's first public driving range when he 
opened the Airport Driving Range and Teaching 
Center. By 2000. the driving range was gone, and 
Caranci used the land the range sat on, cleared 
more land to the west, and opened a second public 
golf course - Village Links. Opened in 2000, the 
18-hole par-54 course was the shortest and only 
pure par-3 course in Plymouth. 

Development of the town's second public 
course began roughly one year after Squirrel 
Run opened. However, the concept for Atlantic 

Country Club actually began in 1989 when Mark 
Ridder. later owner of the Waverly Oaks Golf 
Club, and his father proposed the plans. However, 
they weren't successful in getting permits for 
210 acres on Little Sandy Pond Road in south 
Plymouth, but soon after, another group of 
investors secured permits and started construction. 
Unfortunately, they went bankrupt. Ridder and 
business partner Mike Facchini came back into 
the picture and bought the course at an auction. 
They spent money renovating the facility in the 
early 1990s, hiring the well-known golf course 
architectural firm of Cornish, Silva and Mungeam 
Inc. to redesign the course. The first nine holes of 
the firm's first Plymouth course opened in 1994. 
The back nine of the par-72 course opened in the 
spring of 1995. In 1996, Ridder sold the course to 

Because it included many short 
holes, Squirrel Run quickly 
became a hole-in-one haven, 
recording about 50 every year. 

the McSharry brothers - Dave, Mark, and John, of 
Rockland, and a group of six other investors. 

Golf course construction then went on a brief 
hiatus. After Squirrel Run and Atlantic had 
opened in a span of two years, a new set of 1 8 
holes didn't surface until 1998. On Dec. 16, 1996, 
a course designed by Brian Silva started taking 
shape. A year and a half later, on Memorial Day 
weekend, the Waverly Oaks Golf Course, a full- 
size championship par-72 course was open to the 

public. At the time, it was Plymouth's longest 
course, playing at 7,210 yards from the back tees. 
The owner-operator was a familiar name from the 
recent past - former Atlantic Country Club owner 
Mark Ridder. 

Early in the 2 1 st century the Waverly Oaks 
golfing complex was slated to be converted into a 
film studio. 

When the cranberry business suffered 
a crippling blow in the mid- to late- 1990s, 
Plymouth got yet another golf course. Will 
Steams grew up with cranberries. His father. 
Will senior, was in the cranberry business. The 
father-son combination manned bogs sitting on 
more than 100 acres of land that ran alongside 
Federal Furnace Road in the westernmost part 
of Plymouth. For many years, business was 
good, then business began to slow. The cost 
of harvesting cranberries exceeded the selling 
price. The younger Will was trying to figure out 
what to do with the land. Earlier, he had built golf 
holes on either side of a two-acre bog, and for 
years, passersby did double takes. Was that a golf 
course? Yes and no - yes, for family and friends 
only, and no, not for the pubhc. The two holes 
expanded to five. When the price per barrel for 
cranberries took a nosedive, the Steams family 
acted fast. Will and his son Willie, along with 
some friends including local architect Nick Filla, 
began designing and constmcting Southers Marsh 
Golf Club, many of the holes mnning between 
cranberry bogs - creating an unusual kind of 
hazard. Southers Marsh opened to the public 
shortly after the turn of the 21st century and within 
a few years had become one of the most popular 
golf courses in southeastem Massachusetts. 


h A Southei 
/ W Marsh 

X Golf club 


For years. Beaver Dam Road in south 
Plymouth was lined with scrub pines. Over time, 
developers cleared land here-and-there and built 
houses, but the road was best known as the site 
of the town dump. In the late 1990s, a team of 
developers, led by the Green Co. bought 3,060 
acres of undeveloped land west of the dump from 
the Digital Equipment Corp. Before suffering 
financial losses. Digital had intended to use 
the land as the site for its new international 

A few years after the developers broke 
ground on what turned out to be the Pinehills, a 
community of beautifully designed houses, Rees 
Jones was contracted to design a golf course on 
the property. In two years, the course had been 
completed, opening to the public in May 2001 . 
The par-72, 7,175-yard championship course 
was named the Jones course, after famed golfer 
Bobby Jones. Two years later, the Nicklaus 
course, created by Nicklaus Design and named 
for professional golfer Jack Nicklaus, opened as 

a companion to the Jones course. At 7,243 yards 
from the back tees, it was Plymouth's longest golf 

The lush greens, near-perfect fairways, and 
tall, surrounding pine trees made the Pinehills 
courses attractive to golfers from all over the 
world, including many celebrities. Actors Clint 
Eastwood and Mark Wahlberg, hockey legend 
Bobby Orr and baseball pitcher Roger Clemens 
were among those who teed up at the Pinehills. 

In 2002, the first golf course owned by the 
taxpayers of Plymouth opened off Long Pond 
Road just north of Waverly Oaks. Plans for 
Plymouth's first town-owned course, Crosswinds 
Golf Course, called for 27 holes to be built nine 
holes at a time. The first nine was ready for play 
in 2002, the second nine opened one year later, 
and the third nine opened in late 2006. 

To construct and operate Crosswinds, and also 
to maintain the nearby Forges Field recreation 
area, the town hired an outside management 
firm. Due to the contours of the land, the three 
Crosswinds courses proved to be the most 
challenging in town. 

Two-time winner of The Masters, Ben 
Crenshaw, and design and construction guru, 
Bill Coore, came to the Pinehills in 2002 to 
begin work on what was to become Plymouth's 
most exclusive, expensive and members only 
golf course - Old Sandwich. It didn't have any 
affiliation with the two public courses at the 
Pinehills. Members came from all over New 
England and beyond. The course had no water 
hazards, but there were a lot of bunkering and 
undulating greens. 

And so, facilities for playing golf went from 

nine lonely holes on a North Plymouth meadow 
in the early 1900s to nearly 200 holes on golf 
courses at nine different locations throughout 
town shortly after the turn of the 21st century. 

Among the town's most avid golfers was 
Wayne DelloRusso, a local real estate agent, who 
moved to Plymouth in 1991 . Shortly after the 
turn of the century and after playing every course 
in town at least once, DelloRusso cited Southers 
Marsh as his favorite. 

"It's an affordable and challenging course that 
offers you an opportunity to use every club in the 
bag," he said. "Plus, it has courteous service and 
a friendly staff. 

"Atlantic, a longer course, is a little more 
expensive, but still ranks high in affordability. 
And the 18th hole is one of the most fun holes in 
town to play. 

"If you can put your second shot on the green 
and there's a crowd up on the deck watching the 
action, you'll get a round of applause as you walk 
up to finish your round," he said. 

DelloRusso said Crosswinds was "a very 
interesting and challenging course with lots of 
elevation changes." The two public Pinehills 
courses, the Jones and Nicklaus courses, are 
"meticulously manicured and provide a wonderful 
layout to play but it costs $100 a round. To me, 
that's a treat I play only once or twice a year." 

On the wall in a new PCC clubhouse in 2008 
was a framed copy of scorecards from the 1940s. 
The cost to play PCC at that time? $1 .00 on 
weekdays, $1 .50 on Saturdays, Sundays and 


Wampanoag mourning 

John Chaffee 

Long before the pilgrims 
arrived in Plymouth in 1620. 
the Wampanoag, an indigenous 
group of tribal communities, 
had inhabited the lands of 
southeastern Massachusetts 
and eastern Rhode Island for 
an estimated 12.000 years. At 
the end of the 20th centur> \ 
about 3,000 Wampanoag still 
inhabited their homeland - 
many devoted to continuing 
the traditions and culture of 
their ancestors. Two tribes have 
been recognized by the federal 
government - the Mashpee 
Wampanoag on Cape Cod and 
the Aquinnah Wampanoag on 
the island of Martha's Vineyard 
Several bands of Wampanoag 
remained active, including the Herring Pond 
Wampanoag based just south of Plymouth in 

In late 20th century Plymouth, both 
Native Americans and Pilgrim descendants 
commemorated their history, although their 
memories of events differed markedly. While 
Thanksgiving Day had long been regarded by 
most Americans as an observance of Pilgrim 
survival over the winter of 1 620-2 1 , Native 


Native American Russell Means 
of the American Indian Movement 
speaking in front of the Massasoit 
statue on Cole's Hill on Thanksgiving 
Day 1970, the first National Day of 

Americans and their supporters, 
beginning in 1970, gathered on 
Cole's Hill for a National Day 
of Mourning. 

It was begun by "Wamsutta" 
Frank James, a Wampanoag 
elder who had been invited 
to speak at Plymouth's 350th 
anniversary of the Pilgrim 
landing. However, he declined 
the invitation after organizers 
censored his speech. Instead, 
he read his remarks unedited 
on Thanksgiving Day 1970 
before a gathering of Native 
activists on Cole's Hill. The 
event became recognized as 
the first annual National Day of 
Mourning, calling attention to 
the "Pilgrim mythology" and 
to the losses and indignities suffered by Native 
Americans at the hands of the Pilgrims and their 

"The very first National Day of Mourning, held 
on Thanksgiving Day in 1970, remains a vivid 
memory for me," recalled Linda Coombs, an 
Aquinnah Wampanoag, who was in attendance. 
"There was a sea of Native people on Cole's Hill, 
emanating from the statue of Massasoit," Coombs 
said. "He was in good company that day," she 

said, "as some well-known American Indian 
Movement leaders surrounded him and spoke 
to the crowd, including Russell Means, Dennis 
Banks, Eddie Benton and Clyde Bellecourt." 

On Thanksgiving Day in 1997. Plymouth 
police clashed with Native Americans celebrating 
the National Day of Mourning. Twenty-five 
arrests were recorded amid accusations of police 
brutality. In the wake of that ugly confrontation, 
Plymouth selectmen and the United American 
Indians of New England (UAINE) reached an 
agreement that acknowledged an alternative 
interpretation of Pilgrim history. The agreement 
called for the placement of two commemorative 
plaques, one on Cole's Hill and the other in Town 
Square. The wording on the plaques was provided 
by UAINE, approved by state historical experts, 
but never voted on by selectmen. 

The plaque on Cole's Hill refers to the National 
Day of Mourning as a reminder of the genocide of 
millions of Native Americans, "the theft of their 
lands and the relentless assault on their culture." 
The Town Square plaque commemorates the 
Native American warrior King Philip as a leader 
who "called upon all Native people to unite to 
defend their homelands against encroachment." 

These efforts of reconciliation, while not 
enough to erase past inequities, represent a step 
toward a better understanding of our shared 

How Plymouth voted 

Presidential election results 1900 

1900- McKinley, Republican 855 
Bryan, Democrat 288 

1904- Roosevelt, Republican 1,086 
Parker, Democrat 470 

1908- Taft, Republican 1,152 
Bryan, Democrat 362 

1912 - Roosevelt, Progressive 617 
Wilson, Democrat 545 
Taft, Republican 469 

1916- Hughes, Republican 1,006 
Wilson, Democrat 742 

1920 - Harding, Republican 2,436 
Cox, Democrat 516 

1924- Coolidge, Republican 2,236 
Davis, Democrat 434 

1928 - Hoover, Republican 2,802 
Smith, Democrat 1,477 

1932 - Hoover, Republican 2,546 
Roosevelt, Democrat 1,767 


1936 - Landon, Republican 2,808 
Roosevelt, Democrat 2,490 

1 940 - Willkie, Republican 3.002 
Roosevelt, Democrat 2,968 

1944- Dewey, Republican 3,908 
Roosevelt, 2,828 

1948 - Truman, Democrat 3,646 
Dewey, Republican 3,1 19 

1952 - Eisenhower, Republican 4,432 
Stevenson 2,543 

1956 - Eisenhower, Republican 2,587 
Stevenson, Democrat 2,1 51 

1960- Kennedy, Democrat 3,81 7 
Nixon, Republican 3,521 

1964- Johnson, Democrat 5,1 55 

Goldwater, Republican 2,082 

1968- Humphrey, Democrat 3,924 
Nixon, Republican 3,164 

1972 - McGovern, Democrat 4,518 
Nixon, Republican 4,369 

1 976 - Carter, Democrat 6,776 
Ford, Republican 5,689 

1980- Reagan, Republican 7,183 
Carter, Democrat 5,354 

1984 - Reagan, Republican 9,671 
Mondale, Democrat 6,773 

1988- Bush, Republican 10,164 
Dukakis, Democrat 8,891 

1992 - Clinton, Democrat 8,354 
Bush, Republican 6,615 
Perot, Independent 6,519 

1 996 - Clinton, Democrat 1 1 ,253 
Dole, Republican 6,467 

2000- Core, Democrat 12,865 
Bush, Republican 8,964 

-Compiled by Herman Hunt 

Libraries north and south 

Sharon LaRosa 

In early June 1902. the town's first permanent 
public library opened on North Street in 
downtown Plymouth. Almost 90 years later, 
in October 1991 , another new library building 
opened - this one on South Street, just off State 
Route 3. the highway linking Boston to Cape Cod. 
In less than a century. Plymouth went from having 
the quintessential small downtown public library 
to a much larger, modem facility accessible to a 
growing and increasingly mobile population. 

Plymouth's history of library service to the 
community actually began in the early 19th 
centurv . when about 30 residents started a 
subscription library in order to share their books 
with one another. By 1856. the 50-member 
group had incorporated as the Plymouth Library 
Association - an independent, non-profit 
organization dedicated to providing quality library 
serv ice to the town. The following year, the 
association opened its first library at the rear of 
the Plymouth Five Cents Savings Bank on Main 
Street, with Charles S. Burton, superintendent of 
schools, as librarian. 

The North Street library - a neoclassical 
Roman brick building gifted to the town by the 
family of William G. and Mary Ellen (Hedge) 
Russell - was designed by the Boston architecture 
firm of McKim, Mead and White, the same firm 
that designed the Boston Public Library. When 

The Russell Library, top left, opened on North Street in 1902. The adjacent Lindens building was added in the 
J 950s and the combined buildings serx'ed as the town 's main public library until a new library opened on South 
Street in 1991 . Within a few years of its opening the South Street library had become the busiest library on the 
South Shore. 

it opened in 1902, the Old Colony Memorial 
reported that hundreds of people experienced the 
"conveniences of this model public building," 
which included a "vestibule and rooms ... 

brilliantly lighted with both electricity and gas. 
In its first full year of operation, the library 
circulated 28,312 items. 

The Russell Library served the town 


Interior views of the Russell Library. The frieze on the 
wall of the bottom photo is a replica from the Trajan 
Forum in Rome. Note the open balcony in the rear of 
both photos. It featured a glass floor. 

adequately until the 1950s, when the need for 
additional space was met by purchasing The 
Lindens, an adjacent two-story wood-frame 
building that had been a boarding house. In 1960, 
a corridor connecting the two buildings was built 
and paid for by the Plymouth Public Library 
Corp. - the organization established in 1880 out 
of the former Plymouth Library Association. 
Throughout the 20th century, the corporation 
continued to contribute funds for supplemental 
library services, as well as members who served 
as the library's trustees. 

The Rev. Peter Gomes, one of 20th century 
Plymouth's notable citizens, remembered 
spending time in the Russell Library as a 
youngster, under the tutelage of Miss Ann Edgar 
Lucas. Miss Lucas, he recalled, . .had a loyal 
and enthusiastic following among young boys 
because she encouraged us to exhibit in the 
locked glass cases in the reading room the various 
things that boys collect. No matter how mundane 
or minor our little trophies were. Miss Lucas 
allowed us to display them, and she supplied in 

Books about old Plymouth on a shelf in the South 
Street library. 

her neat hand the carefully worded labels with 
the impressive citation, 'From the Collection of 
John Smith, aged 9.' By this artful device she won 
readers and friends for life." 

But the Russell-Linden building was not 
the town's only 20th century public library. 
In Manomet village south of downtown, a 
neighborhood library association began offering 
book-lending services in 1913 from a room in 
the local schoolhouse. In 1973, the Manomet 


In 1989 the Plymouth Public Library received a federal grant to begin an adult literacy program 
to provide English-language tutoring and classes leading to a high school equivalency diploma. 
The Literacy Program of Greater Plymouth expanded rapidly, receiving a number of awards and 
grants, including the prestigious Lila Wallace-Reader's Digest fund award that established the 
Literacy Technology Learning Center housed at the Library. By the end of the 20th century, the 
literacy program had forever changed the lives of hundreds of people in Plymouth by helping 
them develop the life and literacy skills to achieve personal success. Its work continued into the 
2 1st century, thanks to funding by the Town of Plymouth, the Plymouth Public Library Corp., the 
Massachusetts Department of Education, and various charitable organizations. 


The hookmohile that for a few years in the l9S0s 
provided library sen ices to niirsiuii homes and 
homehoiind residents in remote parts of town. 

association turned its facility, then in Bartlett Hall, 
over to the town. For the remainder of the century, 
the Manomet branch library operated from space 
in a strip mall on Manomet Point Road. A new 
branch librarv building, initially funded by the 
corporation, opened on Strand Avenue early in the 
21st century. 

Other library facilities were available at various 
times throughout the century, most notably the 
Loring Library in North Plymouth, which began 
as a foreign language reading room for employees 
of the Plymouth Cordage Co., many of whom 
did not read or speak English. In 1939, at the 
company's request, the Plymouth Public Library 
took control over the Loring Library collection. 
And for a few years in the 1980s, a bookmobile 
provided library services to nursing homes and 
homebound residents in remote parts of town. 

Plymouth's rapid growth from 1970 to 1980 
and its increasing need for library services 


eventually led to widespread recognition that 
an entirely new and much larger main building 
was needed. In 1985, after extensive study and 
a community survey, a master plan committee 
documented the need for a new central library and 
outlined the scope of library services required to 
serve the town for the next two decades. 

Building a new library wasn't an easy sell 
with voters; after all, this was during the tax- 
limitation Proposition 2-1/2 era. But after two 
failed attempts, Plymouth voters in 1988 finally 
approved a $9.7 million bond issue to build a 
new central library on the four-acre South Street 
parcel that had been purchased by the library 
corporation. Thanks to a $1 million state grant 
and under-budget construction costs, the new 
library actually cost local taxpayers $1 .7 million 
less than they had authorized be spent. 

In October 1991 the new library building 
opened to the public with appropriate weeklong 
ceremonies. With more than four times the space 
of the Russell Library and design elements that 
reflected Plymouth's historic past - octagonal 
rooms and long corridors modeled after the 
Cordage company's ropewalks, for instance - the 
building was a marvel to all who witnessed it. A 
Boston Globe columnist said the new library "fits 
Plymouth's special characteristics like a custom- 
tailored suit. It accommodates the town's rich 
history as well as its demanding present." 

To the dismay of many library supporters, the 
new building's octagonal entry tower didn't have 
the cupola envisioned by the architect because 
the board of appeals twice ruled that the library's 
height couldn't exceed the town's 35-foot limit. 
Not even a flagpole was allowed, so Old Glory 

flew from a pole on the lawn instead of from the 
roof. Despite this limitation, the library impressed 
most everyone who walked through its doors. 

"The library is one of the first things that 
visitors to Plymouth see when they come off the 
highway, and it lets them know that Plymouth 
cares deeply about education and lifelong 
learning," said Linda Murphy, corporation 

The reference room of the South Street library as 
viewed from the balcony overlooking the reference 


Margaret Osmond at work at the reference desk in the 
Russell Library. 

When Margaret Osmond died in 2005 at the 
age of 98, the Boston Globe printed a lengthy 
obituary that described her as a "glamorous 
presence" for 31 years as a Plymouth librarian. 

"She was the most exotic woman I had ever 
seen," said the Rev. Peter Gomes, minister 
at Harvard's Memorial Church, recalling his 
experience as a boy shelving books at the 
library from 1959-1961 . As a young actress, she 
had traveled extensively throughout the world 
at a time when single women usually didn't 
travel alone. According to the obituary, she 
wore "dramatic capes and turbans" and outside 
the library she lived a flamboyant life. As many 
library patrons remembered, bright red lipstick 
was her trademark. 

"Maggie was a pistol, a ball of fire," recalled 
Ruth Kowal, director of administration and 
finance at the Boston Public Library, who 
directed the Plymouth library when Osmond 
was there. "In her 60s, she became a fan of 
Janis Joplin," Kowal said. 

Lee Regan first met Osmond when, as a 
child, she went to the North Street library with 
her mother. Regan, who later became a research 
librarian at the same facility, said, "Margaret 
knew each person and the kind of books they 
liked and would be ready with suggestions as 
soon as they walked in the door. 

"She was the ultimate librarian," Regan 
added. "She had a theatrical presence, but in the 
library she was stately and graceful." 

president during construction of the building. 

Although some naysayers initially dubbed the 
red-brick South Street building a "Taj Mahal," 
within a few years the new facility had become 
the busiest library on the South Shore, with usage 
nearly triple what it had been in the old building. 

"The move to the South Street library was a 
real paradigm shift," remembered Lee Regan, 
reference librarian who had joined the staff in 
1980. "Everything about the Russell Library was 
consistent with your image of a small-town public 
library - its size, the furnishings, the familiarity 
of staff and patrons. But the new library had so 
much more to offer the community, and by 1991 , 
the community had changed dramatically." 

"The role of librarians changed significantly 
from the beginning of the 20th century, when we 
were 'gatekeepers,' to the end of the century," 
said Dinah O'Brien, who became library director 
in 1993. "Now we are facilitators," she said. 
"The job no longer involves only repetitive tasks, 
like charging books. Librarians today are like 
consultants who help people figure out what 
information they need and want, and then tell them 
how and where to find it. 

"At the old library, staff knew almost all users 
and what they liked or disliked," O'Brien noted in 
an early 21st century interview. "It isn't possible 
now with more than 30,000 registered borrowers 
and a circulation of more than 300,000 items per 
year. But the Plymouth Public Library has always 
been responsive to what the community needs. 
The library is at the heart of the community - and 
in response the community supports us." 




Bailey. F. Lee 

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Witness, and the Expert Who Puts Memory 
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Baker. F. Jane Cooper 

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Baker, James 

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Plymouth . Charleston, SC: Arcadia 
Publishing, ©2002 
Plymouth Labor and Leisure . 
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Plymouth Illustrated: 1893: a Tour of 
Plymouth As It Was Long Ago . 
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Plimoth Plantation: the First Fifty Years . 
Plymouth. MA: Plimoth Plantation. ©2007 

Baker, James W. and Richard L. Ehrlich 
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Mayflower Quarterly 49: 57-67, 1983. 

Bittinger. Paul 

The Past Remembered October 22. 1900 to 
April 6. 1976. Plymouth, MA: Memorial 
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Blachowicz, James 

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1870. Evanston, IL: Graver Press, 2006 

Bornstein, Philip 

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or Uncommon, 1821-1945 . Plymouth, MA: 
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Brewster, Ellis Wethrell 

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Burgess, Tamson W. 

"Veterans Battle for 2,200 Names: World War 
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Old Colony Memorial, Sept. 7, 2000, page 

Busi, Joseph 

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to Joan Bartlett. Plymouth, MA: Warren 
Cove Family Histories, 1999 

Carlone, Dennis 

Plymouth Public Space Action Plan- 
Downtown/Harbor District Study: 
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& Associates, © 2007 

Chaffee, John, ed. 

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Charleton, Warwick 

The Second Mayflower Adventure . 
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Clapp, Susan Ellen 

You & Mine . New York: Carlton Press, 

Collection of Materials Relating to Parting Ways 
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Curley, Peter and Joseph Horn (2008) 
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Daley, Carroll E. 

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Habitation and Some Names . 
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Davis, Virginia E. (2008) 

Emond Building History and the Park 
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manuscript. Susan Gedutis Lindsay, ed. 

Dawson, Dinky 

Life on the Road: the Incredible Rock and 
Roll Adventures of Dinky Dawson . 
New York: Billboard Books, 1998 

DeBrusk, Skip 

Codfish. Dogfish. Mermaids and Frank: 
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Early American Life . New York: Anchor 
Books/Doubleday,©1977, 1996 
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Freeman, ©2000 

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E.D. Dorsey & Plymouth Producers Group, 

Engstrom, Victoria B. 

The Forges of Chiltonville. Pilgrim Society 
Notes, Series One, #26, 1978 

Ennis, Wesley 

Oral History Sampler (videorecording), 
(Plymouth, MA): Plymouth Antiquarian 
Society and Plymouth Public Library, 1994 
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(videorecording). Plymouth, MA: Pilgrim 
Hall Museum, 1997 

Ennis, Wesley and Zachary W. Ennis (2010) 
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Plymouth Postcards . Unpublished 
manuscript. Plymouth Public Library 

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History of Success: Plymouth Industrial 
Development Corporation and Plymouth 
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Garside, Edward Ballard 

Cranberry Red . Boston: Little, Brown, 1938 
Whirligig . New York: Appleton-Century- 
Crofts, Inc., ©1955 

Geller, Lawrence D., ed. 

They Knew They Were Pilgrims. Essays in 
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Books, 1971 

Goldstein, Karin J. 

From Pilgrims to Poverty: Biography of 
an Urban Renewal Neighborhood. Plymouth. 
Massachusetts . Boston University doctoral 
dissertation, 2007 ©2006 

Goodwin, Gerry 

Plymouth Country Club. 1900-1978: the 
Club, the Course and the Characters . 
Plymouth, MA: The author, 2005 

Goodwin, John A. 

Pilgrim Republic . Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 

Growing Smarter in Plymouth's Fifth Century: 
Town of Plymouth. Massachusetts Master 
Plan . 2004-2024 . Plymouth, MA: The Town, 

Hamilton, H.H. 

A Medical History of Plymouth. 1620-1977 . 
Plymouth, MA: Pilgrim Society, ©1978 

Hanlon. George 

A Cloak for Malice . Book Surge Publishing, 

Hornblower, Malabar 

The Plimoth Plantation New England 
Cookery Book . Harvard: Harvard Common 
Press, (1990) 

Karbott, Grace, et. al. 

Manomet in Fact and Fiction . Plymouth, 
MA: Manomet Friends of the Library, 1970 

Karbott, Grace, compiler 

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Kelly. Brooks 

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Lindsay. Susan Gedutis 

See You at the Hall: Boston's Golden Era of 
Irish Music and Dance . Boston: Northeastern 
University Press. ©2004. 

Lodi. Edward 

Cranberry Memories: Voices from the Bogs . 
Middleborough. MA: Rock Village 
Publishing. 2009 

Shapes that Haunt New England: the 
Collected Ghost Stories of Edward Lodi . 
Middleborough. MA: Rock Village 
Publishing, ©2000 

Marshall. Cyril Leek 

The Ma\ flower Destiny . Harrisburg. PA: 
Stackpole Books. (1975) 

Marten. Robert 

Pearse: a Blackamore Pilgrim . Plymouth 
MA: Plymouth Public Library 
Photoduplication Program, 1995 

Master Plan. Plymouth Industrial Park. Plymouth. 
Massachusetts . Anderson-Nichols & 
Company. 1967 

Morison. Samuel Eliot 

Ropemakers of Plymouth: a History of the 

Plymouth Cordage Company. 1824- 

1949 . New York: Amo Press, 1976, ©1950 

Ness, Beverly 

Genealogical & Local History Resources 
Available in Plymouth. Massachusetts . 
Plymouth, MA: Plymouth Public Library 
Corporation, 1995 

O'Brien, Dinah Smith (contributing author) 

From Outreach to Equity: Innovative Models 
of Library Policy and Practice . American 
Library Association, 2004 
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Studies . American Library Association, 2001 

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Press, 1940-2010 

Peters, Russell M. 

Clambake — a Wampanoag Tradition. 
Minneapolis: Learner Publications Co., 

The Wampanoags of Mashpee: an Indian 
Perspective on American History . Jamaica 
Plain, MA: R.M. Peters, ©1987 

Philbrick, Nathaniel 

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and War . New York: Viking, 2006 

New England Telephone and Telegraph Co., 
Plymouth. Marshfield including Carver. 
Duxbury. Kingston. Manomet (phone books)- 
irregular, 1 950s- 1 990s 

Pilgrim Society 

Pilgrim Society Notes , Plymouth, MA: The 
Society, 1954-1984 

Plymouth Collection Vertical File 

[A specialized collection of newspaper 
clippings, magazine articles and small 
pamphlets on Plymouth and the area. This 
collection is an integral part of the library's 
local history information.] 

The Plymouth Compact of 1949: a Guidebook to 
Plymouth's Future . Boston, MA: Whitman & 
Howard, 1949 

The Plymouth Compact as Revised to 1961 . 
Boston, MA: Whitman & Howard, 1961 

Plymouth Cordage News . Plymouth Cordage 
Company, 1944-1954 

Plymouth (MA) High Schools 

Plymouth High School Yearbook 
Plymouth-Carver High School Yearbook 
Plymouth North High School Yearbook 
Plymouth South High School Yearbook 
Plymouth, MA: the Schools, 1945-2010 

Plymouth National Bank 

Plymouth Yesterday and Today . Plymouth, 
MA: The Bank, 1953 

Plymouth Redevelopment Authority 
The Bradford Area: a Study for the 
Preservation and Rehabilitation of an Historic 
Area Plymouth, MA: Plymouth 
Redevelopment Authority, 1980 


Plymouth, Town of 

Annual Reports . 1900-2000 

Plymouth [Street] Directories . Irregular 

Village Centers Master Plans: Cedarville, 

Manomet. West Plymouth. Plymouth Center. 

Waterfront . Plymouth, MA: The Town, 


Porter, Katherine Anne 

The Never-ending Wrong . Boston: Little, 
Brown, ©1977 

Rezendes, Jerry 

A Stroll Through North Plymouth. 1920s 
-1940s . Plymouth, MA: Plymouth Public 
Library, 1999 

Robinson, Howard & Barbara 

Burial Hill in the 1990's. Plymouth. 
Massachusetts: a Six Year Cemetery Mapping 
Project with Descriptions. Conditions, and 
Some Photographs . Plymouth, MA: 
Plymouth Public Library Corporation, ©2000 

Roderick, David 

Blue Colonial . Philadelphia: The American 
Poetry Review, ©2006 

Sargent, Anne L. 

Plymouth in Perspective . Plymouth, MA: 
The Author, 1993 

Szczebak, David. 

Massachusetts Natural Heritage Atlas . 
Westborough, MA: Natural Heritage & 
Endangered Species Program, Massachusetts 
Division of Fisheries and Wildlife, 1999 

Shepard, Sam 

Rolling Thunder Logbook . Cambridge, MA: 
DaCapo Press, ©1977, 2004 

Simmons, James Raymond 

The Historic Trees of Massachusetts . Boston, 
MA: Marshall Jones Company, 1919 

Sinclair, Upton 

Boston: a Documentary Novel of the Sacco- 
Vanzetti Case . Cambridge, MA: R. Bentley, 

Snow, Stephen Eddy 

Performing the Pilgrims: a Study of 
Ethnohistorical Role Playing at Plimoth 
Plantation . Jackson, MS: University Press of 
Mississippi, ©1993 

Steinway, Ruth Gardner 

Plymouth's Ninth Great Lot and the Six 
Ponds. 1710-1967: a Chronicle . Kingston, 
MA: Pilgrim Publishers, 1976 

Teresa, Vincent 

My Life in the Mafia . Garden City, NY: 
Doubleday, 1973 

Tidy man, Ernest 

Big Bucks: the True. Outrageous Story of the 
Plymouth Mail Robbery & How They Got 
Away With It . New York: Norton, ©1982 

Tolles, Bryant Franklin 

Summer by the Seaside: the Architecture of 
New England Coastal Resort Hotels. 1820- 
1950 . Hanover, NH: University Press of New 
England, ©2008 

Tougias, Mike 

The Blizzard of '78 . Yarmouth Port, MA: On 
Cape Publications, ©2003 

Travers, Len 

Celebrating the Fourth: Independence Day 
and the Rites of Nationalism in the Early 
Republic . Amherst, MA: University of 
Massachusetts Press, ©1997 

Travers, Milton A. 

The Wampanoag Indian Federation of the 
Algonquin Nation . Boston: Christopher 
Press, 1961 

Villiers, Alan John 

Give Me a Ship to Sail . Hodder & Stoughton, 
Ltd., 1958 

"How We Sailed the New Mayflower to 
America," National Geographic (November 
1957), pages 627-672 

The New Mayflower . New York: Scribner, 

Weinstein, Laura Lee 

The Wampanoag . Chelsea House 
Publications, 1988 

Welch, Barbara (2006) 

Irish in Plymouth [unpublished manuscript] 

Wilkie, Richard W. 

Historical Atlas of Massachusetts . Boston: 
University of MA Press, 1991 



Parker Barnes, whose, "Kamikazie flight" is 
included among "World War II memories." was a 
native of Plymouth, graduate of Plymouth High 
School. Wesleyan University and Lowell Textile 
Institute who. as a Marine Corps pilot, won the 
Distinguished Flying Cross. 

Joan H. Bartlett, a graduate of Harvard 
L'ni\ ersity. assisted in the compilation of 
"World War II memories" and "Plymouth 
neighborhoods." She runs Warren Cove Family 
Histories, a small business helping people write 
their memories and family histories. 

Tom Bartlett, author of "Plymouth 
neighborhoods." is a graduate of Dartmouth 
College and Boston University who lives with his 
family in England where he is a teacher, trainer 
and writer. 

Bernard Barufaldi. author of "Flying high 
over Plymouth." is a retired Navy officer and 
history professor who graduated from Holy Cross 
College. Vanderbilt University and the University 
of Massachusetts — Amherst. 

Gail Sullivan Begley. author of "Plymouth mail 
robber\ has a doctorate in cell and molecular 
biology from Boston University. She is chair of the 
Northeastern University service-learning program 
and an advisor at NU's biology department. This is 
her first non-science publication. 

Kathleen Branigan. who did the design and 
layout of both volumes of "Beyond Plymouth 
Rock." is a self-employed graphic artist who 
works from her Plymouth home. A Navy "brat" 
who was born in Texas, she is a graduate of 
George Washington University. 

John Chaffee, managing editor of both volumes 
of "Beyond Plymouth Rock," is a retired 
newspaper reporter and magazine editor. A 
combat veteran of the Korean War, he is a 
graduate of Boston University and former trustee 
of the Plymouth Public Library. 

Mikki Chaffee, author of "We had the land," 
has been a real estate broker in Plymouth for 
nearly 40 years. A graduate of the University 
of Massachusetts - Amherst, she is a former 
town meeting representative and has served on 
many town boards and committees, including the 
Historic District Commission and Charter Review 

Bobbi Clark, author of "A legendary scoundrel," 
has received five Emmy awards for writing and 
producing teleplays, documentaries and children's 
shows. A graduate of Emerson College, for many 
years she reported Plymouth news for WATD-FM. 

Wesley Ennis, photography editor for both 
volumes of "Beyond Plymouth Rock," was for 
many years a staff photographer for the Old 
Colony Memorial. A past president of the Pilgrim 
Society, he is a multimedia arts instructor at 
Quincy College. 

Zachary Ennis, author of "World War II 
memories," grew up in Plymouth and graduated 
from Stonehill College. A history teacher at West 
Bridgewater High School, his photographs have 
appeared in the Old Colony Memorial and in 
numerous art shows. Zachary 's great-grandfather 
was Paul Bittinger. 

Michael A. Gallerani, co-author of "Economic 
pains and gains," is a Plymouth native and graduate 
of Plymouth High School who for many years was 
the town's economic development director. 

Karin J. Goldstein, author of "Rolling Thunder 
Revue" and "Urban renewal in downtown 
Plymouth," grew up in Chicago and has been a 
Plymouth resident since 1992. The urban renewal 
story is adapted from her Boston University 
doctoral thesis. She is the curator of library and 
collections at Plimoth Plantation. 

Peter Gomes, author of "Blacks in Plymouth," 
is the Plummer Professor of Christian Morals at 
Harvard University and minister of Harvard's 
Memorial Church. A Plymouth native, he is the 
recipient of 33 honorary degrees and author of 
many books, including "The Good Book: Reading 
the Bible with Mind and Heart." 

George Hanlon. whose "Cozy Barrett's own 
story," was condensed from a series of five 
articles he wrote for the Old Colony Memorial at 
the time of Cozy's death in 1975. A former postal 
employee, Hanlon also worked for The Enterprise 
newspaper of Brockton. 


Carl M. Jayko, author of "A Mayflower returns," 
is a longtime Plymouth resident who worked 
for more than 25 years as a planning, relay and 
protection engineer for the Plymouth Electric 
Light Co. Carl dedicated his work in this book to 
his late wife Jean M. (Dunlap) Jayko. 

Mark Johnston, author of "Local news with 
heart and soul," is chairman/creative director 
of Mark Johnston Associates, a full-service 
marketing communications agency with offices in 
Plymouth and Naples, Fla. In 1973 he succeeded 
Ted Garside as managing editor of the Old Colony 

Robert Knox, a graduate of Yale University, is a 
correspondent for the Boston Globe and former 
associate editor of the Old Colony Memorial. 
He is the author of both "Nuclear power in 
Plymouth" and "Classical music in Plymouth." 

Sharon LaRosa, author of "Libraries north and 
south," graduated from Wheaton College and 
earned a master's degree in library science from 
Simmons College. She has been a reference 
and outreach librarian in Plymouth since 1996. 
Sharon compiled the index and was chief copy 
editor of both volumes of "Beyond Plymouth 

John M. Moran, a retired cardiac surgeon, 
was the author of "Health care in 20"' century 
Plymouth" and co-author of "Drug stores 
and pharmacies." A graduate of Dartmouth 
College, Dartmouth Medical School and Cornell 
University Medical College, he moved to 
Plymouth in 2002. 

Beverly Ness is a reference library associate and 
author of a handbook on genealogical resources 
in Plymouth. A graduate of the University of 
Massachusetts-Amherst, Bev serves on the 1749 
Court House Committee. She helped compile the 
index for "Beyond Plymouth Rock," and several 
of her photographs appear in this volume. 

Dinah O'Brien, author of the "Foreword" to this 
volume of "Beyond Plymouth Rock," became 
director of the Plymouth Public Library in 1993. 
She is a graduate of Madison College in Virginia 
and earned a master's degree in library and 
information science at the University of Rhode 

Lee Regan, adult services librarian and curator 
of the Plymouth Public Library's extensive 
local history collection, initiated the 1 0-year 
project that culminated in this second volume of 
"Beyond Plymouth Rock." She is a graduate of 
Bridge water State College with a master's degree 
from Simmons College. 

David Roderick's first book of poetry, "Blue 
Colonial," won the APR/Honickman Prize. A 
native of Plymouth, he earned a master of fine arts 
degree from the University of Massachusetts - 
Amherst. He teaches poetry and creative writing 
at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. 

Edward W. Santos, co-author of "Economic 
pains and gains," is a native of Plymouth and 
retired Plymouth banker. He has served as 
president of the Plymouth Industrial Development 
Corp. for 45 years and is a trustee of Jordan 

John Sears, author of the "Camel Green" section 
of "World War II memories," was a life-long 
resident of Plymouth and graduate of Plymouth 
High School who retired as vice president of a 
local bank. 

Alba Thompson, author of "First lady," is a 
Plymouth native who after World War II served 
as a liaison officer between Gen. Douglas 
MacArthur's headquarters in Tokyo and the 
U.S. military government in Seoul, Korea. For 
many years she taught high school history in the 
Plymouth school system. 

Carolyn Freeman Travers, author of "Pilgrims 
come alive," worked 30 years for Plimoth 
Plantation. A graduate of Plymouth-Carver 
Regional High School and Earlham College in 
Indiana, she earned a master's degree in library 
and information science at Simmons College. 
She is currently the librarian of the Mayflower 

Ryan Wood, author of "The greening of 
Plymouth," is a native of Plymouth and graduate 
of Plymouth High School and the University of 
Massachusetts — Dartmouth. He is an award- 
winning sports editor for GateHouse Media New 



This second volume of Beyond Plymouth Rock, like its predecessor, is a community project using the contributions of 
volunteers. From library patrons offering leads on sources to authors of the stories within, to Managing Editor John Chaffee, 
Historian Karin Goldstein and Photographer Wes Ennis, it is the combined volunteer effort that provides this look at life during the 
second half of the twentieth century in Plymouth. 

The visionary leadership, support and encouragement for this book comes from library director Dinah O'Brien and the board of 
trustees for the Plymouth Public Library Corporation, the private, nonprofit arm of the library that has provided enthusiasm and 
funding for the production of this book. Librarians Lee Regan and Sharon LaRosa and Library Associate Bev Ness have been the 
production backbone and liaison for all the authors and stories, acting as the clearinghouse and organizational hub for the book's 

Many additional individuals have contributed to the making of this collection of Plymouth stories. Without their generous 
contributions, this book would still be just a concept. We regret any inadvertent omissions. The Book II staff wishes to thank: 

1749 Court House Museum. American Legion Post 40. Priscilla Andrews, 
Barbara & George Anzuoni, Frances Armstrong, Bruce Arons, Winifred 
Avery, Marian Aylesworth, Brooks Barnes. Jim & Peggy Baker, Tony Baker, 
Mary Barnes. Dr. Joel Baron. Lenny Barbieri. Joan Bartlett, A! Battista, 
David Berman. Morris Bloom. Beverly Booth, Philip Bornstein. Wedge 
Bramhall. Carol & Tom Bruce. Sean Burke. Jean Burnell. Allen Cappella, 
James J. Carroll, Jessica Carvalho, Mikki Chaffee, Charlotte Clark, Clough 
Family, Cohen Family, Christine Cook. Linda Coombs, Troy Riley Creane, 
George Crombie, Peter Curley, Donna Curtin, Ed David, Virginia Emond 
Davis, Jim Delano. Shirley Brown Delano. Frederick Dittmar. Monica 
Donelan. Mildred Dupuis. Carrie Elliott. Wesley Ennis. Zachary Ennis. 
Entergy Pilgrim Nuclear Station. Cynthia Buttner Fischer, Judith Fosdick, 

Susan Cellar, Sherman Geller, Carol Gibbs, Richard Gibbons, Myra 
Glansberg, Gerry Goodwin, Ruth Griswold, Bob Hale, Jay Hall, Diane 
Hallisey, Jennifer Harris, Mary Henry, Louise Hoagland. Orrin "Bill" 
Holman, Joseph Horn, Phyllis Hughes, Herman Hunt, Danny Hunter, Hussey 
Family, Allan Israel. Doris Johnson. Herb Johnson. Marion & Paula Jesse, 
Muriel Jordan, Jordan Hospital. Rodney Randall Joseph. George & Faye 
Kane. Stephen Karidoyanes, Stephen Keaton. Bill Keohan. Kingston Public 
Library, Jill Marten Kokemak, Ruth Chamberlain Kowal. Bud Krueger, 
Andrew Kusmin. Helen Holman Laine. Rick LaRosa. Karl Lekberg. Tom 
Maher, David Malaguti. Manfredi Family, Bob Marten. Michelle (Dupuis) 
Adams Marshall, John Martini, Linda McAlduff. Dr. Barry Meltzer. 
Thomas Minehan. Enzo Monti, Linda Murphy, Beverly Ness. Robert Ness, 


Newfield House, Inc., Carolee Nielsen, Elaine Nudd, Dinah O'Brien, 
Phillip O'Connell, Kathy O'Donnell, Old Colony Club of Plymouth, Old 
Colony Memorial/Gatehouse Media, Stephen O'Neill, Stephanie Orman, 
Roberta Otto, PAC-TV, Margaret & Mike Paduch, Paula Peters, Pilgrim 
Society, Plimoth Plantation, Mike Pimental, Laurence Pizer, Plymouth 
Antiquarian Society, Plymouth Board of Selectmen, Plymouth Center for 
the Arts, Plymouth Cordage Historical Society, Plymouth Country Club, 
Plymouth Industrial Development Corporation, Plymouth Philharmonic 
Orchestra, Plymouth Public Library Corporation, Plymouth Redevelopment 
Authority, Christine Pratt, Jan Randolph, T. Patrick Regan, Terry Regan, 
Jerry Rezendes, Richard Sparrow House of Plymouth, Bill Richardson, Rose 
Family, Bill & Grace Rudolph, Tom Ruggiero, Charlotte Russell, Ray Russo, 
John Ryan, Patti Ryan, Clifford Sampson, Gwen Sanger, Brian Sansoucy, 
Mr. & Mrs. Bob Santheson, Scott Shandrahan, Reed Sibley, Alfred Sitta, 

Loren St. Onge, Will Stearns, Geoff & Joyce Stewart. Dr. Sam Stewart, 
David Tarantino, Tassinari Family, Gilbert Tavares, Kenneth & Margaret 
Tavares,Alba Thompson, Mimi Toabe, Bill & Mary Towns, Charlie Vandini, 
Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1 822, Elizabeth Walker, Jennifer Walshaw, 
John Warren, Betty Weeden, Honey & Bob Weiss, Barbara Welch, Gloria 
Welch, Marilyn White, Tom Whyte, Sandra Wood, Jimmy Young. 

Finally, this book could not have been written without the encouragement of 
the many library patrons who stopped by to offer a quick word of advice, ask 
about the status and share our enthusiasm. 

Our heartfelt thanks to all. 
July 20,2010 



Note: Numbers in italics refer to illustrations. 


Bellecourt, Clyde 


1 749 Courthouse (Museum) 


Benton, Eddie 


Uu^Z,, JL/clll 

Bert's Restaurant 



Besse, Amanda 


DuKCI , J allies W. Jilll 

Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church (AME) 


1 4 1 

7Q 0n 
ly. oU 

1 iK^tXl 1 I Id 1^ (XI 1 3 


DclKCI, VVlllldlll t\. 

19 / ? 14 on 

Dein jdcoD oyndgoguc 

AiT~nort Orivinci Rintrf* inH Tlf^nr^hincr 

V^tlllCl itu 

Rilr\r\tii Ij^f* 

oD, o/ 

Rio RirH 
Dl^ DlIU 


Al2onc]uitin Summer Ctimp 


jjciiDoni s i^rug oiore 

oo Qfi 07 
JO, OO, 0/ 


& 1 


R n nlfT c r^f^n n i c 

UctlllVo^ l^Wlllll^ 

1 48 
1 Ho 

Billington House 


Allpn C~'li^rlp*; R 

l-i o t"r\ 1 <3 Y"\ 1 ri n \ / 
DalUlCIl^ L^CIlIiy 


Billington Street 

on 1 1 1 
oU , 111 

Allen Robert 


DtllUIClI S 


DllU, VVallCl 

1 on 

A 1 Iprton fC^i i »ihman ff* in o^ton 

.^1 It 1 IVJll/ V_ L13111 Hull dllt« rviii^diuii 

R if*n^*c RtT\nlrc 
DdlllCd^ DIUURS 


DlSllUp, JUUll 


A 1 mpiH 1 A IfrpH 
.^iiiiciLiu, r^iiiCrU 


Dallied, neiiry w., jr. 

I'X fiO 

DiiLiiigcr, rrcuericK 

1 m 

n I m "ihoi i«p 

ulll l^llUU^C 

Barnes, Howard P. 

A A Al 

Diuinger, rriiz 

1 m 

Ameriran Tndi#^n M^ovement 


Romaic ^l\c^xT*\i l-I o ti-* h 

ijames, iviercy ruicn 

Diiiinger, josepn 

1 m 
1 iU 



Riimf*c PQrL"f>i" I 
ijalliCo, r al l\.ci L,. 

Bittinger. Lillian 

1 in 

AnHer^ion \4jirinnp AmaHn 

i^llUtl3Wll. iVlol JVil 1^ i^llldUW 

46, 49, 79 

Dallies, rUlllip 


Diuiii^ci , ividruius 

11 z 

AnHrewQ Familv 
i^JiUi^vva 1 oiiuiy 

Dallies WUISICU, lIlC. 


Diuinger, rduiine 

1 iz 

Antnniotti T nrraine 

^AlllV^lllVJlll . L^l^'llulllW 


Ddnjii, vj\. juei 

00, 00 

Ritfir\fi^ir Paul \A/illir»m ■? ? /I ^ 

Diuinger, r dui wiiiiam jj^^j. 

1 1 n 111 1 I -1 
1 lU. /// . 1 IZ 

A nfoniotti R ir'hnrH 

i^l llVJl llV'lll . IXlClluiLl 

Daiieiu neu 

7 I 
/ 1 



AA*P SnnermarWet 


Darreu, jonn 


Blackmer, Arthur E. 

J J 

Afiiiinnnh W/n m n n n o n cr 
'^Ljuiiiiitiii VTciiiiL;ciiii./ci^ 

DallClL, IVlaiy ^nuiall^ 


Blackmer, George 

Arr*hf*r Fiimilv 

r^lL-llvI 1 alllliy 


DdricLi, iviiLiidei 

1 uj 

black Pilgrim 



Areher Fr^nt'e*; 


Ddrreii, wiiiiam ri. L.ozy 

1 ?? ?4 IS 0*^ 

DldLKS 111 /AlllCllCd 


A rm a nHo P^ii 1 1 1 n^* 

rA.1 11 lallUVJ . r dUllIIv 



DidCK ql wniie ^^lUD 



A rmttron o P^oi i o 

^^1 1 ll^LI \J1 1^ . l^VJU^ 

1 17 

Ddnieii, /AiireG 

1 HA 

Dicsacu ivdien leKdKwiind i^nurcn 

/ / 

A rrrnitrono lr*hn 
1 11 3ii liL • J^iiii 

1 D\J 



Rli77ard of IQ7J^ 

Ull£,^aiU \JV I y / (J 


1 ^0 

Ammtrf^no John fPnIire (^hief^ 


Bartlett Hall 


baby delivered 


(11 1 1 1 > L. ul 1 11-^ 

Bartlett Nuclear 

75, 76 

Bloom building 


Amolfl Tr^ilpr 



Barufaldi, Elio 

117, 7/S 

Bloom, Morris 


Arons, Bob 


Barufaldi. Helen 


board of governors 


Arons. Bruce 


Bass Place 

50. 5/, 56 

Board of Health 


Arons Furniture 


Battista, Al 44, 44, 45, 47, 49, 53, 55. 56 

Board of Selectmen 

111, 137 

Arthur. Bruce 


Bay View Nine 

143, 144 

Board of Selectmen. 1946 


Arthur s Restaurant 


Beauregard, Edgar 


Board of Selectmen, 1950 


Atlantic Countr> Club 

745, 146, 147 

Beaver Dam Road 


Board of Selectmen, 1975 


Atlantic Street 


Begley, Gail Sullivan 



152. 152 

Avenue A 


Belcher, Helen Barnes 


Bornstein, Philip 



57 60 


Rniirnp RonrI 


Ro\/p»r I-[ nrr^lH 

53 104 10') 107 108 

RnHff^rH I^Tvlf* w/irf* mill 
ijiciLiiuiki rv y ic wilt 111111 

55, 56 

Dlalilllall riXlllliy 

^ 1 

RnmriQll (if^rwnf* 
Oi cllllliall ^ VJCtJI^C 

28, 5 1 

Rri mh q 1 1 lV'lnr\/ A 1 lf»n \^ anion 
Jt>i (11 iiilai 1 , iviui y /Alien ivictiiitjii 

5 1 

RrQmVi^ill W/(^iiCrf^ 
Dl dlllllUl 1 4 TV CU^C 


RrQmniill c ir\mf^r 

Olcllllllull d V—'Ul IlCl 


Brewster, Bill 


R rf^xx/ ctf^r P 1 1 1 c 


DiCWaLCl vJalUCIlo 

Rriahtwpll Rill 

DII^IllWCII, Dili 

1 1 y 

Rrini R(=»ltnnHi"^ 

106 106 107 

1 kJkJ , 1 \J\J , \.\J 1 

Rrini TV/tnriAl 
Dlllll^ iViuilCl 


RrooV RoiH 

1 I 5 

Rrrwii/n Rf*iir IVTotf^l 


Rro\x/n Pnnr'f**; 
JJlUvVII, 1 I tiiiv_o 

Ri*r»vx/n Rir'niirri 



1 \J\J 

Rriino c irwnf^r 

1->I LlllU o \_4JI11CI 

9Q 30 

Rnr^Km^in I1ii\/im 

iJLlV.I\.lllctlI . L^UVIU 


Ri ir*k' mm Pn m mti 

J3UL.I\.111U11 , 1 llllllllcl 


RiircTf*cc I (=*oniirH 


Rnri^l Hill 

LjUI lal 1 1111 

1 39 

Rnrton i narlRtt N 

IJUI iKJll . V—llCll It J o . 

1 50 

Rnt*tr\n xr*hr\r\l 

1 M 

R ntlpr ^"'h ?irlf*c 

UUlltl^ V^llU-Hto 

Butler, Lila Hunt 


Buttner Co. 


Buttner, Edwin 


Calista, Joe 74 

Calista, John 74 

Calzolari, Bruno 30 

Camp Edwards 38 

Canevazzi, Guy 87 

Canevazzi, Russell 107 

Cape Cod Guide 1 1 1 

CapeVerdeans 48,49,85 

Cappella, Allen 130 

Caranci, Charles 146 

Caranci,Jane 146 

Carr, Robert A. 34 

Carvalho, Jessica 125 

Carver Road 77 

Case, David 93,94 

Catania Hospitality Group of Cape Cod 55 

CDF Corporation 75,76 

Ceccarelli,Paul 108 
Cedarville 7,30,145 

Cedarville Fire Department 30 

Central Fire Station (Main Street) 9 

Central Fire Station (Sandwich Street) 9 

Chaffee, Mikki 5,97 

Chapman, Sumner A. 54 

Charlie's Hardware 95 

Charlton, Warwick 12,90 

Chassey, Elliott 7 

Chestnut Street 8 1 

Chiltonville 28 

Christ Episcopal Church 78 

Churchill, Wesley 110 

Church of the Pilgrimage 78 

Church Street 51,54 

Civil Air Patrol 121 

Civil War Memorial 24 

Clark, Bobbi 95 

Clark Road 133 

Clarke. Charlotte 105 
Clarke, G. Herbert 104, 104. 105 

Clarke, G.Herbert III 105 

Clarke, Kenneth 105,106 

"Clarke's Orchestra" 105 

Cliff Lounge 30 

Clough Family 50, 5 1 
Clough's Market 24,46,50,51 

Cobert, Dr. Josef 105, m 

Cohen, Debbie 51 

Cohen, Harris 51 

Cohen, Jerome 107 

Cohen. Rose 


Cohen's store 


Cold Spring 


Cold Spring School 


113. 114 

Cole. Rosa 


Cole's Hill 


Cole's Lane 


Colley. Ed 


Colonial Diner 


Colonial Restaurant 


Congregation Beth Jacob 


Constitution Drive 


Contente. Joe 


Cook. Peter 


Coombs. Linda 


Coombs. Melvin 


Cooper Drug Co. 


Cooper, Guy 


Cordage Men s Club 


Cornish School 


Cotti, Louis 


Court Street 

77,78,86.95. 1 

14. 143 

Cozy Barrett era 


Cozy Barrett: see also Barrett, 

William "Cozy" 


Craig Airfield 


"Cranberry Red" 


Crawley, David 


Creane, Kyle 


Creane, Troy 


Crifasi, Sheila Clough 

46, 56 

Crosswinds Golf Course 


Curran, Kate 


Cushman. Doris 



Dan Callahan's Grill 


Danforth's Home Bakery 


David Crawley Associates 

7, 116 

David. Ed 


Davis Building 


Davis, Dr. Charles S. 



Tio\7ic Tii/nfT** l^Qrx\/ R 

lyaVib, juuuc ndJiy o. 


O 1 

L/a\ 1>, V lli^lllla iZilllUllU 

1 — "T. 1 

li»>»*t 7 limbic ** 1 1 m 

7Q QO Ql 

T'W^I'inn Shirlpv Rrnwn 


L'CIIUixUs^U. W*.l\ lie 


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L/CLUr> , LJay lU 

Ijlv3i3ll.'ll \ I ^ ui y 


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L^\, £.\Jl ^11* L^U * ^ 



Op7nrt*tt t;imilv 


Lyt^llcll CUUIUIIlClll 

in 147 

Dinkins, Mr. 


Downey. Ellen 


Downie. Chet 


dow ntow n Plymouth; see Plymouth Downtown 

Drew. Ralph 


Dudman. Richard 


Dunkin" Donuts 


Dunlap. Marie 


Dunlap. Roger 


Dwight Avenue 


Dylan. Bob 



economic development 


Edes Street 


Edmands. William B. 


Ed Sullivan Show 


Eel River 


Eel River Circle 


Eel River Farm 


Eldridge. Deane 


Ellis Family 




Ellisville Harbor 


Emond. Arthur. Sr. 


Emond Building 

124, 135 

Emond. Ferdinand 


Emor> . Mary 


Enabenter. Gloria 


Engstrom.Walder J. 89 

Enisketomp, "Human Being." sculpture 26 

Ennis.Wes 140 

Ennis. Zachary W. 37 

Entergy Corporation 63 

Ernie's Restaurant 23 

Evans. Samuel 130 


Federal Furnace 26 

Federal Furnace Elementary School 9,116 

Federal Furnace Road 100, 146 

Fehlovv. Marie 64 

Fenston, Felix 13 

Filla, Nick ' 146 

Finerfrock. Luther 134 

Finney. Eftie 46 

First Baptist Church 78, 80 

First Parish Church 5 1 , 55 , 75 

forest fire, 1957 120,123 

Forges Field recreation area 147 

Forman, Rep. Peter 122 

Forman, Rev. Dr. Charles C. 17 

Forman. Sarah 122 

Fragment Society 127 

Franks, Elspeth (Agnew) 5 

Franks. William S. 96 

Frawley's Mountain 24 
Frazier. James T. 14. 33. 34, US 

Frederick Knapp School 114 
Freeman , David B . 72 . 74 . 90 , 93 

Fremont Street 25 

Fresh Pond 102 

Frieden, Nancy 8 

Frieden.Ray 8,9 

Friendly 's restaurant 49, 54 

Fuller, Sanderson 80 

Furcolo, Gov. Foster 17, 123 


oducrdni, iviicndei /\. 

1 L 

1 • Off 1/1^* r*/! l-< olio I"/"! 

\\t\ 111 / / T 

OdlSlUC, INdldllC 

Udy, Ldiiy 

VJClldl , OUSdIl 

Z / 

vJ^ Jidi ^ Oiiu^^ J_j CI I 


vJCllCI ^ OllCIJUdll 



\JIUL>?>, V^dlUI 


i»ilt»f l-iiHii/o f/H 
OlitS. L/UWdlU 


fill i~y~\ i \ ft^ \\f 1 1^ ri n 

o / 

UidiiSucig, iviyrd 


vjiyiiii H/iccinc 


vJtjiu^LCiii, rvdi 111 

41 140 

UUIIlcS , WllSSd WIlIlC 

8 1 
o 1 

UUIIlCa, IxCV. rClCI J. 

oonsdivcs, udvc 


f^ooH wi n A mot; 

VJU^JUWlll, /AllUJj 


V_HJULI VV 111 , VJtliV 


C\c\c\(\ \\i in Wc\ rr\l H 

VJtJULlWlll, llalL/lVJ 


144. 145 

\J\JVJL1 VV 111 , 1 llllL-C 


rrnrmlpv Or Tjimp<i 
vj v^i 1 1 1 iL. y . vj\ . jciiii^o 


Or^inH Armv of thf Rpnnhlir 

VJlclllU / VI Illy \J\. lll^ IVC'L'UL'i.l^ 


CXv^ \i A rthiir 

82. 83 

l»t*Q\/ A\/f*n IIP 


O 1 

\\t'a\i RpiitriPP 
vjiuy, ucmII iv-t 


f^r'i v r^r T rvi n o 

VJIilj', VJV. 11 Vlll^ 


vjitiy 1 diiiiiy 


vji d y ill 

82. 83 

uidy, vjcurgc i_.cDdiuii 

1 .fix/ 1— ltf»l*it1 

vjidy, ncicii 


VJ luV, llk.llllull 


^idy, rvtiiiiciii 


r~¥t*iiv T iipx/ Rror^V^ 
vjitiy, i_(Uk, Y uivjvjivj 


Cimv Matilda w*5omf* 

VJ 1 txy . iviu.iiiuci I'lvw iSvji iiv- 


Gray, Stella Dennison 


Gray. Stephanie 


Gray the Cleaner 


Gray. William A. "Ally" 


Gray, William H. 



Gray, Zilpha Johnson Mapp 83 

"Great Plymouth Mail Robbery" 133 

Green Company 147 

Griffin, Bill 9 

Gunner's Exchange Road 7 

Gurnet Light 127, 128, /2S 


Hornblower. Henry 143, 144, 145 

Hornblower, Henry "Harry" II 14,89,91 

Hornblower Memorial Tournament 145 

Hornblower, Ralph 89,144 

Hotel Pilgrim 82 

Housing and Home Finance Administration 44 

Howe.Cato 79 

Hovvland Street 3 1 

Hughes, Phyllis Dale 96 

Hunt, Herman 149 

Hunter, Danny 136 

Hussey, Alfred 46 

Hussey, Chris 24, 46 


IGA grocery store 51 , 5-^, 55 

Independence Street 7 

Indian Brook Elementary School 9, 1 16 


Jabez Corner 26,34,84,113 

James, "Wamsutta" Frank 148 

James White Monument Co. 74 

Jayko,Carl 11,129 

Jenkins, Mary 84 

Jenney Grist Mill 55 

Jenney Pond 47 , 55 , 56 

Jewell, Lynne 131 

Jim's Restaurant 23 

John Carver Inn 55, 56 

Johnson, Brooks 85 

Johnson, Doris 131 

Johnson, Rev. William 80 

Johnston, Mark 108,110,140 

John the cobbler 126 

Jones golf course 147 

Jordan, Eben D. 68 

Jordan Hospital 5, 65, 84 

aerial view 69. 71 

births 65 

construction 68 

Jordan Hospital Club 


Joseph. Aaron 



KAO Infosystems Co. 


Kaplowitz, David 


Kaplowitz house 


Karidoyanes, Steven 

109. 109 

Keenum, John 


Kellar, William "Cookie" 


Keller, I.H. 


Kennedy, Senator Edward 


Kennedy-Tower amendment 


Kingston Inn 


Kiwanis Club 


Knox, Robert 

57, 104 

Kowal, Ruth 


Krensky, Doris 


Krueger, Clarence "Bud" 97, 101. 102, 103 


Laine, Helen Holman 


Lamb, Arthur 


Lampert, Mary "Pixie" 


Lane, John 


Lanman, Herbert H. 


LaRosa, Sharon 

123, 150 

Lee, Jeremiah 


Lee, Rev. Antrim 


Lehman, Mary 


Lekberg, Karl 


Lenox, Jack 


Leslie, Dr. Sanford 


Lewis. Morris 


Leyden Street 


Life magazine 


Lincoln Street 

84, 113, 115 

Lindens. The (building) 

150. 151 

Literacy Program of Greater Plymouth 


Literacy Technology Learning Center 


Little Red Schoolhouse 

30. 115. 131 

Hadfield, Doug 


Haines, Jaime 


Hall, Margaret 


Hallisey, T. Clark 


Hamilton. Dr. Harold Henry 


Hampton Inn 


Hanlon, George 


Harlow-Bishop house 

52, 52, 5i, 55 

Harlow. Jabez 


Harlow's Landing 


Harris, Beulah Howland 


Harris Hall 


Hartmann, Lee 


Hayes. Lillian 


Hearth and Kettle Restaurant 


Hedge School 

9, 113, 114 

Herring Pond Road 


High Street 


Hill, Dr. Edgar Dwight 


Hill, May 


Hillman, Robert 

107. 109 

Hilltop Mansion 


Hochstin, Dr. Steven 


Holiday Inn 


Holman, Orrin "Bill" 


Holmes, Dr. Albert 


Holmes Field 


Holmes, Gideon F. 


Holmes, Mary Washburn 


Holmes, Norman 


Holy Ghost festival 


Hornblower family 


Hornblower, Hattie F. 





f r*rio PonH 

5. 84 

Lons Pond Road 

7. 115. 147 

1 r\r*L"r»iit Pr^int 


T r\n n o Trpnp 


1 r\nri<T T iKriirv 



Lucas. Ann Edgar 


Lucy Brooks 


Lvlc Family 


L\ le. George 



iViaUL/di 1 oiiiiiy 


44. 73 

1 36 


Maher. Thomas J. 


Main and Le\ den streets 


Main and Market streets 


Main Street 22. 23. 25. 32. 35. 104. 123. 125 

Main Street Extension 

2i. 24.^5,49.54. 55. 

105, 111, 124 

Malaguti. David 


Manfredi. Adele 


Manfredi. Richard "Dick" 


Manion. Annie Loft 


Manion. Paul 



7.27.83. 133 

Manomet Bluffs 


.Manomet Elementar) School 

9. 115 

Manomet Point Road 

115. 152 

Manomet Post Office 


Market and High streets 


Market and Main Street Extension 

23, 49 

-Market and Summer streets 


.Market Street 4 1 . 45 


Marsh Family 


Marten-Kokemak, Jill 



Mnrten Robert "Rob" 93 

141 , 74/ 

iviiiuuiii., rv^JoC uil/L/Kj 


IVlcl^l 1 L/C C VVCllllL/Cll IviCl^ 


N/Iills N/faooiP 

iVlllir^, IVIdH^lt 

Mn's's/ichii'sptts Opnnrtmpnt of Piihlir Works 


MonincT Char!p*s 

1 35 


Mnntj^nari (^prrv\.^iimii£ii 1, VJ d 1 y 


IVTnvpr Fdwjirrl 


IVInran Inhn 

65 R6 

, ou 

Ma vflower ( 1 6201 


ivivji 1 131^11 , vv allC'l 


Mciyflower Hotel 


Morton Io*;iah 


Mayflower II 77, 7i, 76. 7* 

?, 90, 94 

Morton Park 


tXl 1 11 LCV^ L 


arrival in Plymouth 


Mr*\ Rriino\ Coffpp ^hon 



12, 14 

Murphy. Linda 

1 ^0 

1 JZ 

commemorative ribbon 


Myles Standish State Forest 


crew 74, 17, 19 

Myles, William 


design and construction 





Felix the cat 
launch. 1956 
Plymouth reception 
project's inception 
ship builder 
ship's mail 

ticker-tape parade (NYC) 
transfer of ownership 
voyage from England 

Maynard. Katherine 

Mayor of North Plymouth 

McAlduff. Linda Rapoza 

McCarthy, Tom 

McGrath's Restaurant 

Means, Russell 

Medicine Shoppe 

Mellencourt, Allen 

Meltzer, Dr. Barry 

Memorial Hall 32, 81./ 04 

Memorial Press: see also Old 

Mesquitta. Rev. Melford 

Middle Street 

MIJA Industries 

Milburn, Dorothy 

Milburn Family 

Milburn, Harrison 


15. 16. 17 
13. 14 
18, 19 

66, 129 

105, 106. 108. 109, 140 
Colony Memorial 110 

32,96,98,99, 110 

Nanepashemet 91 

Nathaniel Morton Intermediate School 115 
Nathaniel Morton School 9. 105. 106. 113. 113 

Nathan's Brook 79 

National Day of Mourning 148 

National Monument to the Forefathers 25 

National Park Service 36 

National Register of Historic Places 53 

New Black Eagle Jazz Band 108 

New England Telephone and Telegraph Co. 130 

Newfield House 127 

Newfield Street 37.81.83 

New Guinea settlement 79 

Nicklaus golf course 147 

Nicolas. F. Edward 40 

Nixon.Vice President Richard M. 16, / 7. 18 

North Park Avenue 98 
North Plymouth 7.21-22, 143. 147 

North Plymouth Theater 32 

Nuclear Matters Committee 64 

Nudd, Elaine 128 


Oak Street 

Oak Street School 

Obery Street 


115. 116 

O'Brien, Dinah 

1. 15.3 

Old Colony Club 

32,33,82, 111 

Old Colony Dairy Bar 


Old Colony Estates 


Old Colony Memorial building 

I WO J 10 

Old Colony Memorial newspaper 45, 1 10, 111, 112 

Old Colony National Bank 


Old Colony Restaurant 


Old Colony Theater 47. 

104, 106, 108. 135, 136 

Old Sandwich Golf Club 


Olsson, George C. P. 


Neill. Stephen C. 


Osmond. Margaret 


Otto, Roberta 

104, 105, 10/. lOo, 109 



Pacheco, John 


Park Avenue 


Park Theater 


Parker, Eddie 


Parker. Ovila 


Paronich, Nancy 


Parting Ways Cemetery 



75, 76 

Pearse, Abraham 


Peck, Corinne 


Pedrini, Doris 


Pellegrini, Giovanni 


Penn Central freight yards 


People's Market 


Person, Hap 


Petrell, John 


Petrell, John, Jr. 


Picard. Henry (Gilford) 

131, 144 

PIDC; see Plymouth Industrial Development Corp. 

Pierce, Dr. Helen F. "Nellie" 


Pierce. John 


Pilgrim Band 


Pilgrim Drug Store 


Pilgrim Hotel 

143, 144 

Pilgrim II 


Pilgrim Progress 


Plymouth Colony Trust 


Pilgrim Society 

89, 111 

Plymouth Community Intermediate School 


Pilgrim Station 


Plymouth Compact of 1 949 


aerial view 


Plymouth Cordage Co. 5. 35. 72 , 76. 79, 97, 105, 143 

control room 


Plymouth Country Club 1900-1978 (book) 




Plymouth Country Club (PCC) 143, 144, 745, 146, 147 

Old Colony Memorial announcement 


Plymouth County Golf Links 


plant shutdown 


Plymouth County Visiting Nurses Association 53 



Plymouth Depot 


reactor vessel 


Plymouth Downtown 7, 23, J2, 41-56 

Pilgrim Village 


Plymouth Electric Co. 


Pilgrim Village Committee 


Plymouth Estates 


Pilgrim Watch 


Plymouth Fire Department 


Pinehills, The (community) 

10. 10. 147 

Plymouth Five Cents Saving Bank 


Pine Hills 


Plymouth Flying Club 


Pine, William "Bill" 


Plymouth Golf and Tennis Club 


Pioppi, Billy 


Plymouth Heritage Trust 

52, 53 

Pioppi, Tony 


Plymouth High School 101 . 105. 106. 107. //J 

Pirani, Vinnie 


Plymouth Home National Bank 


Pixley Richards 


Plymouth Housing Authority 


Pizer, Laurence 


Plymouth Industrial Development Commission (PIDC) 

Pleasant Street 



Plimoth Plantation 11,12,14,1 

19,89-94, 141 

PIDC common stock certificate 


conceptual drawing 


Plymouth Industrial Park 


costumed interpreter 


Plymouth Information Center 


"First House" 


Plymouth Library Association 

150, 151 

first-person interpretation 


Plymouth Long Beach 




Plymouth Lumber Co. 


Henry Hornblower II Visitor Center 


Plymouth mail robbery 


livestock program 


Plymouth Municipal Airport 

117, 146 

Maxwell Barn 


aerial view 

117. 120 

Native American Studies Program 


air show 


Pilgrim interpreter 


fire control plane 


Rare Breeds Program 


first helicopter 


upper management 


naval training base 


Plymouth Aero Club 

120, 121 

Plymouth National Bank 


Plymouth Airport Commission 


Plymouth North High School; see also 

Plymouth Alms House 


Plymouth-Carver Regional High School 


Plymouth athletes 



, 105, 116 

Plymouth-Carver Intermediate School 


robotics program 


Plymouth-Carver Regional High School 

105, 108, 
114, 115 


Plymouth Philharmonic Orchestra (PPO) 104. 

104-109, 106 

PPO String Quartet 


Radisson Hotel 

PPO Volunteer League 



Plymouth Police Department 


Reed. John 

Plymouth Post Office 


Reed, Sis 

Plymouth Public Librar\ ; see also Russe 

11 Library 

Regan, Lee 

85. 153 

Regan, Tom 

Pl\ mouth Public Library Corporation 


Reggiani. Albert 

Pl\ mouth Railroad Station 


Remlinger, Mike 

Plymouth Redevelopment Authority (PRA) 41 . 44, 45. 

Richard Sparrow Hill farm 


Richard's Meatland 

Plymouth Rock 


Richards Micro Tool 

Pl\ mouth Rock House (Hotel) 


Richards, Tommy 

Plymouth Savings Bank 


Richardson. Fred 

Plymouth South High School 

9. 116 

Ridder, Mark 

Plymouth South Middle School 


River Street 

Plymouth Tercentenar> 


Roane Family 

Plymouth town elections 


Roane, Smithson 

Pl\ mouth town government 

96, 126 

Robbins family 

Plymouth \\ aterfront 


Robbins. Manuel 

Plymouth Women's Club 


Robinson. Barbara 

Pl\ mouth Yacht Club 


Robinson, Howard 

Polar Plunge 


Rocky Hill Road 

Pontz. Joel 


Rocky Point 

population growth 


Rogers market 

post office, downtown 

35,41. 42.54 

Rogerson, Frank, Jr. 

PRA: see Plymouth Redevelopment Authority 

Rolling Thunder Revue 

Pratt. Christine 



Princess Theater: see also Park Theater 


ticket stub 

Priscilla Beach Theater 

9,83. 127 

Romano house 

Public Safety Commission 


Romano, Peter 

Puritan Clothing Co. 


Rose, Earl 

Puritan .Mills 


Rose Family 

Pyle. Arthur 


Rose, Frank 
Rose, Theresa 


Route 3 (new) 

Quash. Quamany 
Querze. Joe 
Quinn. Thomas 


Route 3 (old) 
Route 44 

Ruggiero, Antonio "Tom" 
Russell, Allan 

Russell, Charlotte 


9, 103 
5. 133 

36, 101, 130 
37. 37 

Russell house 51 

Russell Library; see also Plymouth Public Library 

98 150.750 
136 Russell, Mary Ellen (Hedge) 150 
47,56 Russell Street 46, 
136 Russell. William G. 150 
153 Ryder Home 45.48,55.127 

107 S 



Sacco and Vanzetti case 106, 134 

Sam Diego's 9 

Samoset House 82 

Samoset Street 123 

Sampson. Clifford E. 44, 53. 56 

Sampson. Esther 20 

Sampson. W.R. 20 

Sands. Geronimo 127 

Sandwich Street 

Sandwich Street and Main Street Extension 47. 49 

Santos, Edward 72, 75 

Saraca, Sylvio 106 

Schlegel. Rudolf 107. 107. 108. 109 

-.^ ^-7 ^o '^^ Schroeder-Finney house 46.51 
34.57,58.59 ^ 

Schroeder. Walter 46 

Second Church of Plymouth 77 

Serkey, Richard 7 

Sever Street 80 

Sgarz, Richard 108 

Shaw, J. H. 71 

Sherman Furniture 23,74 

Sherman, Hyman 74 

Short, George 120 

Shropshire, Doug 94 

Shwom Bros, department store 21 , 74 

Shwom. Soloman 74 

Sidman. Bernard 9 

Silva. Richard 16 

Silva. Roger 97, 103 

Sitta, Alfred 131 

Six Ponds Association 29 

Skanks, Judge William 81 

Smith's gift shop 44, 85 

Soule, Pauline 106 

South Elementary School 9, 7/5, 1 16 
South Meadow Road 36.77, 101. 117, 121, 146 

South Pond district 84 

South Pond Road 84 

South Street 84,97,111,150 

South Street fire station 100 

Southers Marsh Golf Club 146, 147 

Sparrow House 47,48 

Spinney, Carroll 108 

Spooner. Bourne 79 

Spooner Concerts 106 

Spooner Family 79 

Spooner, Jim 106 

Spring Hill 54 
Spring Hill apartments 46, 5/, 54, 55, 55. 56 

Spring Street 49,54,56,84 

Squirrel Run Golf and Country Club 146 

Stanley Steamers 31 

Stasinos, Charles 74 

State Road 34, 59, 77 

Station One 9 

St. Bonaventure Church 77 

St. Joseph's Cemetery 103 

St. Mary's Church 77 

St. Peter's Church 78, 103 

Stearns family 146 

Stearns, Will (III) 146 

Steams, Will (IV) 146 

Stearns, William 29 

Stewart, Dr. Samuel 67 

Stewart, Geoffrey 127 

Strand Avenue 152 

Strickland and Strickland (architects) 89 

Sullivan, John J. 134 

Summer-High street area 41 , 43. 5/, 56 
Summer Street 24, 44, 45, 47, 4S, 49, 5 1 , 52, 5i, 


Sunrise Avenue 7 

Swift, Clarence 30 

Symphony Swing Band 109 

"Taj Mahal" 
Talcott, John 

Tarantino, David 58 , 72, 

Tassinari, Joan Vandini 

Tassinari, Richard 

Tavares, Ken 

Tavares, Maggi 

Taylor Avenue 


Thimas, Lillian 

Thomas, Mel 

Thompson. Alba 40,58.62, 

Tibbetts, Bob 

Toabe Hardware 

Toth. Peter "Wolf (sculptor) 


Town Brook 

Town House 

Town Square 

Town Street 

Towne Shoe Repair 

Training Green 

Trask, Agnes 

Trask, Dr. A. Franklin 

Travers, Carolyn Freeman 

Turner. Plato 

Twin Oaks cabins 



96, 97, 100, 101, 103 


8,59,97, 102, 70i 
75, 76 

64,95, 101, 103, 137 

99, 103 

Urban renewal 4 1 -56 

project area 41,42,45 

Urban Tenant and Friends Association 49 

U.S. Postal Inspection Service 134 

Underground Railway 79, 80 

Unitarian Universalist Church 99 
United American Indians of New England (UAINE) 


United Methodist Church 77 
Upham, Mrs. Percy 17 
Upham, Percy 12 
Upham Shipyard 12, 13, 7.? 

Upham, Stuart 12,7i. 14. 17 

Valente Florists 
Valente, Manuel 
Valley View Nine 
Vandini, Charlie 
Vandini, Joan 
Vandini, Rose Reggiani 
Vanzetti, Bartolomeo 
village centers 
Village Links 
Villiers, Capt. Alan 
Volta, Alfred 



21,95, 100 
37, 37,86 

13, 13, 14. 14, 15, 17, 18 

Waitkus- Arnold, Ann 
Walker, Liz 
Wallace, Tom 
Walley, Corrine Gray 
Walley, Mrs. 

Wampanoag tribal communities 
Warren Avenue 5,52,55.85, 
Warren Cove 
Water Street 

Waverly Oaks Golf Club 
Webster, Elmer 
Weeden, Betty 
Wellingsley School 

Wentworth, Mabel "Muffle" (Mrs. Eric) 

West Elementary School 

West Plymouth 7, 

Westerly Road 

Wethers family 

whale burning 

Wheatley. John R. 

White Cliffs 


90,98, 143 
143, 144 

146, 147 
52, 5i 
9, 116 
26,36, 146 
78, 131 

145, 146 


White . George A . 34 

White Horse Beach 96 

White Horse Beach general store 27 

White. James 74 

Whiting Street 113 

Wiggins Airways 1 1 9 
Willed Place 47. 53, 54. 55 

Winokur. Reubin 8 

Winter. Paul 108 

Withington. Lothrop 19 

Woodbury Family 82 

Woodbup* . Rev. Norris 124 

Wood. Charles 106 

Wood. Everett B. (Fire Chief) 1 19, 123 

Wood. Ryan 131,143 

Wood's Seafood Market 5 1 

Woolford, Ellen 106 

Workable Programs 43 

World War I ^ 33 
World War II 

87th Chemical Battalion 38 

vintage aircraft 120 

WPA ( Works Progress Administration) 32 


Yampolsky. Victor 107 

Yankee Traveler motel 34 

Young America Club 97 


Zangheri, Bruno 106 

Zazzarino. Dr. Domenic 67 

Zion Lutheran Church 2 1 . 7S 

Zoccolante, Ray 106 

Zoccolante. Vincent 106 

zoning bylaws 9 


Downtown Plymouth in the 1970s 







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MAM 1 OWIR II (SI Alh I'll Rl 






M \> 1 1 0\M R SOC II 1> HOI SI 




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I'l 1MOL 1 H RO( k 




I'll (.Rl\l MAini N SI A 1 1 1 


I'OI l( 1 SI M ION 


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I'll (.Rl\l MOM Ml N 1 


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I'll I. RIM MOl HI R STAI Ul" 


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.12. SI I I Ol Ol n PORT 
.14. SPOOM R HOI Sl- 
.15. SI I PHI NS I II 1 D 
.17. I 0\\ N Ol I l< I S 
.W. I RA1NIN(. (IRI I N 
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